Hills Like White Elephants, by Ernest Hemingway Essay

Hills Like White Elephants, by Ernest Hemingway Essay

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Hills Like White Elephants

“The hills across the valley of the Ebro were long and white. On this side there was no shade and no trees and the station was between two lines of rails in the sun. […] The American and the girl with him sat at a table in the shade, outside the building. It was very hot and the express from Barcelona would come in forty minutes. It stopped at this junction for two minutes and went to Madrid” (290 paragraph 1). Ernest Hemingway crafts a well written dialogue in this story about a man and a girl. The story begins with a detailed description of a train station in Spain surrounded by beautiful hills. The story then turns into dialogue between the two. A man and a girl who appear to be traveling sit down at a train station to grab a beer and wait for the train. However a conflict is present between the man and the girl. The dilemma is an abortion. It is made clear throughout the story that the man is wanting the abortion and the girl is not really for it and therefore is not really sure what to do. Hemingway’s good use of dialogue and his creative way of using symbolism creates the tone and mood as well as showing the meaning of the conversation without directly stating it.
The American and the girl sit down and enjoy a glass of beer and during their conversation there is a feeling like the reader is eavesdropping. The problem that is present in the man and girl’s life is abortion and it is made quite clear that the two are in a disagreement. This situation is apparent before the story even begins. Hemingway’s good
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use of symbolism shows the conflict without stating the obvious. The girl looks off towards the hills and describes them as “white elephants.” This creative use of symbolis...


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... at hand. The conflict is the matter of abortion and whether or not it would be the right thing to do in order to maintain their vivacious lifestyle. Through description in the beginning, in order to create the setting, the reader is able to put the image in mind and this will help with some of the meaning throughout the story. Through the symbolic references the girl makes, we are able to establish the feelings of the girl as well as the
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feelings of the man. It is very clear that the man is enjoying his vivacious lifestyle while the girl seems to be enjoying the fact that she might be a mother soon. This difference in feelings sets up a conflict and creates some tension between the two. Hemingway’s creative and elegant ways of using dialogue set up this masterpiece and allow the reader to use their imagination and create the meaning in their mind.

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