Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants

Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants

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In the story 'hills like white elephants' by Ernest Hemingway, we read about two characters, a girl and an American man. They have short conversations between them, and these conversations can hint of many clues about them and their relationship. In the story, we discover what the characters are like, through what they say, and also through the things they don't say.
First, in the story, we understand that the American man has money, and he is an adult because he seems to knows what he is doing. He doesn't want to have a child. Therefore, he is asking his girlfriend to risk her life by having an abortion. The surgery's death rate was higher than its survival rate at that time. All this makes him very selfish, as well. He doesn't care about her, despite the fact that he says: 'well, I care about you.' (Hemingway, 255). He doesn?t even listen to her. She speaks to him, and he says some unrelated things back. We can assume that he always talks about drinking because he wants to get her drunk so she will accept the abortion. Also, we can understand from his comment: ?I?ve known lots of people that have done it?, (Hemingway, 255) that he had too many relationships with teenage girls before, and he has been through the same situation nemrus times.
Secondly, the woman, who is called the girl in the story, has no identity. We don?t know where she is from, or if she has a family. We can understand that she is a teenager who depends on a careless man. Furthermore, it?s clear from her words: ?and if I do it you?ll be happy and things will be like they were and you?ll love me?? (Hemingway, 255), that she is a lonely desperate girl who still hopes for happiness. Nevertheless, she knows she will never have it. That?s why it?s obvious from her reply, ?I don?t care about me?, (Hemingway, 255), that she is depressed, and even ready to die by agreeing to the abortion.

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As we see, this short story tells us a lot. There is an older, rich and self-centered man who is afraid of the responsibility of having a child. Thus, he is ready to risk a teenage girls life. Moreover, there is a sorrowful girl who looks for attention and happiness. For that reason, she is ready to risk her life.
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