An analysis of symbols used in hills like white elephants by ernest hemingway

There is no universal consensus because of the nature of the story; the reader is simply not given much information. Everything in the story indicates that the man definitely wants the girl to have an abortion.

Hemingway's Short Stories

He presents only the conversation between them and allows his readers to draw their own conclusions. The tension remains, coiled and tight, as they prepare to leave for Madrid. Readers must come to their own conclusions based on the dialogue.

Analysis[ edit ] There is little context or background information about the characters.

Then, such authors as Dickens or Trollope would often address their readers directly. The tension between the two is almost as sizzling as the heat of the Spanish sun. The heat is oppressive and the two are forced to wait, drinking away the afternoon till the train arrives.

We sense that she is tired of traveling, of letting the man make all the decisions, of allowing the man to talk incessantly until he convinces her that his way is the right way. Also notable is that "white elephant" is a term used to refer to something that requires much care and yielding little profit; an object no longer of any value to its owner but of value to others; and something of little or no value.

The girl, however, has moved away from the rational world of the man and into her own world of intuition, in which she seemingly knows that the things that she desires will never be fulfilled.

This has led to varying interpretations of the story.

In part, some of the early rejection of this story lies in the fact that none of the editors who read it had any idea what was going on in the story. She tosses out a conversational, fanciful figure of speech — noting that the hills beyond the train station "look like white elephants" — hoping that the figure of speech will please the man, but he resents her ploy.

With or without the abortion, things will never be the same. He has become her guide and her guardian.

Hills Like White Elephants

Given their seemingly free style of living and their relish for freedom, a baby and a marriage would impose great changes in their lives.

Can we, however, assume something about them — for example, is "the man" somewhat older and "the girl" perhaps younger, maybe eighteen or nineteen? One point of debate is whether or not the woman decides to get an abortion. Early objections to this story also cited the fact that there are no traditional characterizations.

She no longer acts in her former childlike way. He is a drunk who has just tried to kill himself. The anti-feminist perspective emphasizes the notion that the man dominates the woman in the story, and she ultimately succumbs to his will by getting the abortion.

The girl compares the nearby hills to white elephants. The female is referred to simply as "the girl," and the male is simply called "the man. At a purely stylistic level, Hemingway exposes the inadequacy of language through his use of unnamed characters and minimalist, stripped down sentences.

Unlike traditional stories, wherein the author usually gives us some clues about what the main characters look like, sound like, or dress like, here we know nothing about "the man" or "the girl.

Only by sheer accident, it seems, is the girl nicknamed "Jig. This insight is best illustrated when she looks across the river and sees fields of fertile grain and the river — the fertility of the land, contrasted to the barren sterility of the hills like white elephants.

Their luggage has "labels on them from all the hotels where they had spent nights. To… Freedom vs Family As the story makes clear from the beginning, both the man and the girl are accustomed to a free, uncommitted lifestyle. On the other hand, we feel that the girl is not at all sure that she wants an abortion.

Instead, Hemingway so removes himself from them and their actions that it seems as though he himself knows little about them. Analysis This story was rejected by early editors and was ignored by anthologists until recently.

However, he clearly is insisting that she do so. At the end of their conversation, she takes control of herself and of the situation: This sense of agonizing waiting permeates the story from the setting itself—a hot, dry river valley at a literal crossroads—to the crucial decision the couple is trying to make: During the very short exchanges between the man and the girl, she changes from someone who is almost completely dependent upon the man to someone who is more sure of herself and more aware of what to expect from him.Need help on symbols in Ernest Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants?

Check out our detailed analysis. From the creators of SparkNotes. "Hills Like White Elephants" is a short story by Ernest Hemingway.

It was first published in Augustin the literary magazine transition, then later in the short story collection Men Without Women.

Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway Summary and Analysis of "Hills Like White Elephants" Buy Study Guide The scene opens on a railway station in Spain where the Barcelona-to. In 'Hills Like White Elephants,' Ernest Hemingway addresses this same concern. Instead of arguing for letting a woman have an abortion if she desires one, though, Hemingway looks at the issue from.

Ernest Hemingway Biography; Critical Essay; Hemingway's Writing Style Essay Questions; Cite this Literature Note; Summary and Analysis Hills Like White Elephants Bookmark this page first, they felt as though they had to buy stories that told stories, that had plots.

"Hills Like White Elephants" does not tell a story in a traditional. Analysis of Hills Like White Elephants “Hills Like White Elephants”, by Ernest Hemingway, is a short story published in that takes place in a train station in Spain with a .

An analysis of symbols used in hills like white elephants by ernest hemingway
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