Analysis of Hills Like White Elephants

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A.Ximenes 1 Andrea Ximenes Professor Polnac ENGL 1302 Synonym 44936 Section 017 14 February 2012 Analyzing “Hills Like White Elephants” Ernest Hemmingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” is the story of a couple having a conversation at a Spanish train station. As they sit, waiting for their train, they have a few drinks and discuss an unnamed operation the young man, “the American”, wills for the young woman to have. From the text, one could conclude that this operation is an abortion. The American presses the issue, non-confrontationally, but in a way that might lead a young girl in love to follow. He promises the girl of how happy they will both be once is has been done, and just how “simple” it would be. The feeling of the girl’s uncertainty of belief in his words is unsaid, but the tone may be inferred, and the passage ends with her words “I feel fine. There is nothing wrong with me.” The central idea in “Hills Like White Elephants” is that young men sometimes jump at the chance to coerce a vulnerable young woman, with promises of love and security. The main characters in this passage are “the American”, and the young woman. The American young man is resolute, and willing to use her feelings toward him to coerce her into having the operation. He tells her that their relationship will be restored to its previous bliss. Though he states that he is worried, you feel that his reason is not for the young lady, but for himself. The young woman seems anxious, and vulnerable. You can tell from the passage that she wants to make the American happy, but you can’t be quite sure if she is willing to go as far as having the operation done to do so. She states, “Then I’ll do it, because I don’t care about me”, although you cant be sure if she truly feels that way or not. This passage is written in dramatic narration, telling only of the characters’
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