Male Dominance In "Hills Like White Elephants" and "The Chrysanthemums" Essay

:: 2 Works Cited
Length: 1402 words (4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Both Ernest Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants and John Steinbeck’s The Chrysanthemums portray oppressed female characters in the early 1900s. In Hemingway’s short, Jig is oppressed by her lover known only as “The American,” whereas, the main character in The Chrysanthemums, Elisa Allen, feels the weight of oppression from society (male dominated) as a whole. Although the driving force of the two women’s subjugation varies slightly, their emotional responses to such are what differentiate the two.
Throughout Hills Like White Elephants, the American refers to his girlfriend only as Jig (which is a device used for measuring whiskey). This nickname implies that he sees her only as an object; a companion to his wolfish self-gratification. The name in itself is an epithet for the bibulous and carefree lost generation lifestyle on which the two indulged. By leaving the American nameless, Hemingway endows the character with strength in anonymity. He is not concerned with his health, life or future and is only preoccupied with his present existence and the preservation of what he considers to be pleasurable to him alone. This gives the American the upper hand over Jig; thus exhibiting his dominance. Although she so desperately wants to move on from this lifestyle and start a family, she does not want to lose the man she loves. Therefore she is willing to postpone her transition into womanhood so as not to ruin the romantic connection she feels exists between them.
The subtle manipulative control that the American has over Jig’s thoughts and actions transforms itself into a complete control over her decision. After finding out that she is pregnant, Jig has a difficult time weighing her options because of her dependence o...

... middle of paper ...

...lthough consciously made will not be of her own influence. In addition to her youthful inexperience regarding matters of life and love, the American’s dominance over her and her fear of being without him will be what forces her hand. In a sense, she was trapped. This is undoubtedly the first of many major discords in their relationship. After maturing with age, Jig will grow weary of the American’s manipulative ascendency; thus allowing her to bolster her own self-esteem and present him with an ultimatum.

Works Cited

Hemingway, Ernest. “Hills Like White Elephants.” Fiction 101: An Anthology of Short Fiction. James H. Pickering. Twelfth Edition. Pearson Education, Inc., 2010. 638-641

Steinbeck, John. “The Chrysanthemums.” Fiction 101: An Anthology of Short Fiction. James H. Pickering. Twelfth Edition. Pearson Education, Inc., 2010. 1162-1168

Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

This essay is 100% guaranteed.

Title Length Color Rating  
The Chrysanthemums Essay - 1. The Chrysanthemums On Henry Allen's ranch east of Salinas Elisa plants yellow chrysanthemums as Henry is selling thirty head of cattle to agents of the Western Meat Company. After he and Scotty go to round up the cattle, a tinker shows up. He asks for work which Elisa says she hasn't. He asks for seeds for a lady on his route. Elisa gives him seedlings with instructions, and then she finds work for him which he does professionally. To celebrate the sale Henry drives her to Salinas for dinner at the Cominos Hotel and a movie; they drive past the tinker on the road and she privately weeps....   [tags: essays research papers] 1205 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Hills Like White Elephants: My Interpretation of the Play Essay - This short story is about a couple arguing about abortion. The girl, Jig, does not want to, but the American man says that it is the only thing between them. The girl wants to continue on with her life of exploring the world with the addition of the baby, but the man says that it would take the world away from them. The man has experience in this, but the woman seems not to. She is reluctant, and does not want to talk about it any more after a point. There are many elements in the story, such as disconnection, manipulation, dominance, innocence, and irresponsibility....   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants, ] 1335 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Setting in Hills Like White Elephants, by Ernest Hemingway Essay example - Swaying trees in the distance, blue skies and birds chirping, all of these are examples of setting. Setting can create the mood and tone of characters in a story. In the story Hills Like White Elephants, the story starts out with our two characters, Jig and the American, also referred to as the man, on a train overlooking mountains. “The girl was looking off at the line of hills. They were white in the sun and the country was brown and dry” (Hemingway). In the case of this short story, the hills provided Jig something to take her mind off of the grueling conversation she was having with the Man....   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
710 words
(2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Symbolism in Hills Like White Elephants, by Ernest Hemingway Essay example - In a well-written short story, different literary elements and terms are incorporated into the story by the author. Ernest Hemingway frequently uses various literary elements in his writing to entice the reader and enhance each piece that he writes. In Hills Like White Elephants, Hemingway uses symbols to teach the reader certain things that one may encounter during daily life. Symbolism may be defined as relating to, using, or proceeding by means of symbols (Princeton). The use of symbols in Hills Like White Elephants is utterly important to the plot line and to the fundamental meaning of the story....   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
1703 words
(4.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Hills Like White Elephants Essay - The story “Hills Like White Elephants” is about a couple who discuss an abortion. The American in the story addresses it as a “simple operation,” (487) while Jig seems to feel it is the wrong choice. I feel the man is encouraging her to have the abortion done in his own selfish way. I feel the American is being very selfish and thinking what a simple operation it would be. He tells Jig, “It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig.” (487)”It’s not really an operation at all.” (487)How easy it would be for the American to have an opinion like this since he would never have to experience the pain....   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays] 759 words
(2.2 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Analysis of Hills Like White Elephants Essay - Analysis of Hills Like White Elephants “Hills Like White Elephants”, by Ernest Hemingway, is a short story published in 1927 that takes place in a train station in Spain with a man and a woman discussing an operation. Most of the story is simply dialogue between the two characters, the American and Jig. This couple is at a critical point in their lives when they must decide whether or not to have an abortion. Certain themes arise from this story such as choices and consequences, doubt and ambiguity, and how men and women relate....   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
1037 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants - 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....   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays] 401 words
(1.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Dependence to Independence in Hills Like White Elephants - Dependence to Independence in Hills Like White Elephants   In Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants,” the lives of Jig and the American, the main characters, are put on display for a brief period of time.  Jig and the man have had a romantic relationship for quite some time, and now their future together is in jeopardy.  The impregnation of Jig has caused the American to pressure her into getting an abortion.  We find these two individuals in the Valley of the Ebro.  Traveling from Barcelona to Madrid, the couple takes these few minutes to discuss the future of their baby.  Jig now must make one of the most important decisions of her life – to have the abortion and stay with the...   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays] 851 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Setting in Hills Like White Elephants, by Ernest Hemingway - In the short story by Ernest Hemingway, "Hills Like White Elephants," a couple is delayed at a train station en route to Madrid and is observed in conflict over the girl's impending abortion. In his writing, Hemingway does not offer any commentary through a specific character's point of view, nor, in the storytelling, does he offer his explicit opinions on how to feel or think about the issues that emerge. The narrative seems to be purely objective, somewhat like a newspaper or journal article, and in true Hemingway form the story ends abruptly, without the couple's conflict clearly being resolved....   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays] 865 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Trouble with Women in Hills Like White Elephants Essay - Trouble with Women in Hills Like White Elephants The short story, "Hills Like White Elephants," by Ernest Hemingway, has a lot to do with how the author lived. The time period the story mostly relates to is when he was married to Hadley and having an affair with Pauline. The story shows problems within a relationship and a lack of communication between a couple. While Hemingway was writing this story, he wrote a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald about Pauline. He wrote about sitting in the shade and talking with her while waiting at a station....   [tags: Hills Like White Elephants Essays] 520 words
(1.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]