Symbolism In Ernest Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants

1282 Words6 Pages
In Ernest Hemingway’s, Hills Like White Elephants, he is able to create a tension filled dialogue between an American man and a girl, Jig, as they sit, drink, and wait for a train from Barcelona at a bar. It mentions that all that the two have been doing was traveling, looking at things, and trying new drinks (Hemingway 2). During the thirty-five to forty-minute period, the couple vaguely discusses about whether or not the “simple operation” for an abortion should take place. Throughout the story, it seems that the man has his mind made up on having the girl go through the operation and tries to persuade her to agree, while the girl is still in limbo about it. In the beginning of the story, Jig seems to be used to depending on the man to…show more content…
Jig’s gaze upon the grain can be her thinking of the possibility of keeping the baby. For example, Jig stands and looks upon the “fields of grain and trees along the banks of the Ebro” (Hemingway 3). The “fields of grain” can represent growth, life, and fertility which can bring the reader to the conclusion of a baby being involved or evidence of a growing family. Jig could be mulling over the idea of starting a family as she gazes upon the field, therefore deciding to follow through with the operation. A second piece of symbolism would be the bead curtain that is mentioned throughout the story where, besides the woman, the man is the only one to pass through at the end of the story (Hemingway 4). The bead curtain can be an indicator as a wall or barrier between the two choices, Jig faces, of having the abortion or not. Walking through the bead curtain can represent the solidifying of the American’s choice of the girl going through with the abortion. In comparison with Jig, who never passes through the curtain, which may represent her decision to not follow through with the operation or what the man wants. Another piece of symbolism that the bead curtain can represent is when Jig “took a hold of two of the strings of beads” (Hemingway 2). This can symbolize her mulling over
Open Document