Hills Like White Elephants Essay

427 WordsJul 23, 20122 Pages
Hills Like White Elephants In Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants”, the story illustrates a young woman named Jig and an American man challenged with the decision of abortion. Throughout the sequence of the story it is apparent that the man is persuading Jig to undergo the procedure. The apprehensive discussion the two are having suggests that they are avoiding the underlying issue at hand. In addition, the setting of the story establishes the stigma involved with the procedure, as Jig left her town and traveled to Spain. Hemingway’s use of symbolism in the dialogue and setting helps reveal the difficult matter through suggestion without the actual term abortion being mentioned. For instance, the term white elephant is used as a metaphor to represent the unborn baby and describe the adjustment on their lives a baby would bring. The girl looked at the mountains and states, “They look like white elephants” (Hemingway 97). The man disagrees with her statement and tension builds. The girl retracts her statement, and states, of course, the mountains do not really look like white elephants only "their skin through the trees” (Hemingway 98). At this point in the story it seems as if Jig is willing to do whatever it takes for his approval and affection. However, the man clearly has no interest in the baby declaring in reference to the procedure, "I don't want anyone else. And I know it's perfectly simple” (Hemingway 98). This represents the man’s lack of concern for Jig’s feelings. Another example that suggests Hemingway’s compassion for Jig and stance in the story is how the only character with a name is Jig, making her seem more genuine, further giving empathy towards her character. However, near the end of the story Jig seems to have a revelation, she changes from the timid and needy young girl seeking the man’s approval, and becomes more assertive.

More about Hills Like White Elephants Essay

Open Document