Hills Like White Elephants, by Ernest Hemingway Essay

Hills Like White Elephants, by Ernest Hemingway Essay

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The most striking feature of this short story is the way in which it is told. It is not a story in the classical sense with an introduction, a development of the story and an end, but we just get some time in the life of two people, as if it were just a piece of a film where we have a lot to deduce, This story doesn't give everything done for the reader, we only see the surface of what is going on. It leaves an open end, readers can have their own ending and therefore take part in the story when reading.
The story told here is that of a woman and a man in their trip to a place where she can have an abortion. Everything in the tale is related to the idea of fertility and barrenness. This main topic can be seen from the title Hills Like White Elephants, where Hills refer to the shape of the belly of a pregnant woman, and White Elephants is an idiom that refers to useless or unwanted things. In this case the unwanted thing is the foetus they are going to get rid of.
In the beginning we find a narrator that describes with a simple language the area where it is going to take place. We can see that the story happens in Spain, in the Valley of the Ebro, and we also see that the train the characters are going to take is an express train that comes from Barcelona and goes to Madrid, but we don't know exactly where they are or the time ordate in which it takes place, we don't even know if they really take the train. The train here symbolizes change, movement but in some way they are scared of it as movement is not always forward but it can also be backwards in this case in their relationship. It is the "train of life".
Another thing we must take into account is the fact that the train is stopping only for two minutes, a very short time. ...


... middle of paper ...


... settling down and starting a family and this would be a change in their lives as they move a lot around, that is why their suitcases are full of "labels from all the hotels they had spent nights". There is another allusion when almost at the end of the story he says "we can have the world" and she replies "No, we can't. It isn't ours anymore ... And once they have taken it away, you never get it back" here we can see that she wants the baby and she knows that once she has the operation she won't be able to get the child back. And at the very end in the last sentence he asks her if she feels better, but what he is really asking is if she has taken a decision and he wants to know what she has decided and then she replies : "I feel fine ... There's nothing wrong with me. I feel fine", if there is something wrong it is with the baby, that is the problem she has to solve.

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