Hemingway Response Paper

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Response to Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” The story “Hills Like White Elephants,” by Ernest Hemingway is about a couple and the issue of abortion. Using the word abortion nowhere in the text, Hemingway successfully makes it understood that this is indeed the issue through his use of setting and symbolism. The setting is described directly at the beginning of the story. “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” (Hemingway 524). Even in describing the environment around the couple, Hemingway is telling the reader something about the dilemma the couple is in. The white hills symbolize the pure and innocent nature of the baby developing in her womb. The use of the words “on this side” sets up a sort of opposition, showing the reader that there are two sides to the issue at hand. The idea that couple is at the station between the two rail lines illustrates for the reader that there are two ways to go from this point in their lives. They can choose to have an abortion, and go on living as they are, or they can go through with creating life. As the story goes on the girl is staring out “looking off at the line of hills. They were white in the sun and the country was brown and dry” (Hemingway 524). This symbolizes once again the opposition between the barren wasteland, where the couple is drinking, and the white hills in the distance. The girl is apprehensive, she wants to do the right thing, but is unsure of what that is. The girl continuously asks her partner questions, most of them about drinking. She makes an observation of what their lives are like at this point. “That’s all we do, isn’t it – look at things and try new drinks?” (Hemingway 525) She is wondering if this is all she wants out of life, or if she wants more, if she

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