What is the theme in hills like white elephants. What are the themes of the short story "Hills Like White Elephants"? 2022-10-24
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Hills Like White Elephants is a short story by Ernest Hemingway that was published in 1927. The story is set in a train station in Spain, where a couple is having a conversation about a significant decision they have to make. The theme of the story is the struggle between personal autonomy and societal expectations.
Throughout the story, the couple, referred to only as "the man" and "the girl," engage in a conversation about an abortion. The man wants the girl to have the abortion, while the girl is hesitant and uncertain about what she wants. The man tries to convince the girl that getting an abortion is the best thing for both of them, using logical arguments and trying to appeal to her emotions. However, the girl seems to be more concerned with what society will think of her if she gets an abortion. She says, "I don't want anybody but you. I don't want any one else. And I know it's perfectly simple." This shows that the girl values her relationship with the man and wants to make him happy, but she also has a fear of what others will think of her if she goes through with the abortion.
The theme of personal autonomy versus societal expectations is further highlighted through the symbols and imagery used in the story. The hills in the distance, which the girl compares to white elephants, symbolize the unborn child and the decision the couple has to make. The white elephant is a symbol of something rare and valuable, but also burdensome and difficult to maintain. The couple's conversation about the abortion is framed as a casual and mundane conversation, with the man trying to make it seem like a simple and practical decision. However, the weight of the decision is clear through the symbolism of the white elephant.
Overall, the theme of Hills Like White Elephants is the struggle between personal autonomy and societal expectations. The couple must decide what is best for them, but they are also concerned with how their decision will be perceived by others. The story suggests that society often imposes its own expectations and values on individuals, and that it can be difficult to make decisions that go against these expectations.
Hills Like White Elephants Themes
Gender Roles The relationship of the man and the woman in this story is traditional in terms of gender roles, with the man holding the power in the relationship while the role of the girl is more submissive. It can be seen by them travelling in Europe, drinking and having a freedom in choosing a partner. By the time he wrote this story he had been wounded in Italy during World War I; had traveled extensively in Europe as a newspaper correspondent and writer; had married, fathered a son, been divorced, and remarried Hemingway 236. In fact, by pushing the issue to the point that the girl has to beg him to stop talking, the American is demonstrating just how unsupportive and indifferent he is toward her true feelings on the matter. Readers have Readers have careful read the story to understand what is taking place.
What does white elephant mean in Hills Like White Elephants?
She also does not speak the native language while he does, so she allows him to make the decisions about where they will sit on the barren side of the station , how to communicate with the server, and when it is time to move the luggage. Though, at the time of the story it was already more or less acceptable for the American couple to travel through the Europe unmarried, nevertheless, American society expectations still were harsh to a thought of raising a child alone. At first the story appears to be a conversation. LitCharts LLC, 9 Might 2016. The Ebro River also represents life, as it germinates the fields.
Such a thought would be no less likely in her mind, as she handles the beads, than her earlier perception of the distant hills as white elephants. Underlying their seemingly light banter are undertones that the man desires the woman to get the abortion so that they can continue traveling and enjoying life like they have up until then. The theme of the story is about the couple's decision between life and death. The Ebro River represents life, as it irrigates the fields. Then you'd probably be able to read the American rather well.
What is the meaning behind Hills Like White Elephants?
The meaning behind Hills Like White Elephants is that the man in the story is trying to convince the girl to have an abortion. The use of imagery associated with these hills concerns the shape of a pregnant woman. Stanley Renner suggests that, as a result of the couple's discussion, "Jig has become able to make a more clear-sighted estimation, and perhaps a better choice, of men" Wyche 59. The heat is oppressive and the two are forced to wait, drinking away the afternoon till the train arrives. Symbolism in 'Hills Like White Elephants' The first symbol we have in the story is the white elephant.
The Limits of Language Theme in Hills Like White Elephants
It is through this lens that she claims the man would have never seen a white elephant because of his inability to see things from her perspective. With the abortion both of them would have plenty of freedom Tim 158. Of course, to some of us, the answer to this question might seem simple and straightforward, but the underlying theme of Hemingway's short story deals with the heavy and complex emotions involved when a relationship faces an unexpected pregnancy, particularly in the early 20th century. In 1918, a year after graduating from high school in Oak Park, Illinois, Hemingway presents two main characters. An added layer to the issue of the failure of language in this story is the fact that the events are unfolding between two English-speaking tourists in Spain. We also have an issue of a lack of communication or a lack of understanding, which can be seen in two places. The author describes the shadow of a cloud across the field of grin where Jig stood up.
The Train Station A train station is a place where people wait. The symbol of the word hill can also be a clue that Jig is pregnant because hills are round and when a person is pregnant their stomach is round. White elephant parties at the office are a relatively new tradition, but the expression itself has been around for some time. Is Amaretto Sour a girly drink? At a purely stylistic level, Hemingway exposes the inadequacy of language through his use of unnamed characters and minimalist, stripped down sentences. Both main characters are round characters and developing throughout the story because of their hard, life-changing decision. What does the luggage symbolize in Hills Like White Elephants? This nickname is appropriated because she is always dancing around the topic.
The Theme Of Abortion In Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants: [Essay Example], 1142 words GradesFixer
The American will leave her if she goes through with the pregnancy and has the baby. Jig knows that no matter what her decision is that the chances of her and the American having a long term relationship are very slim Tim 158. However, when it comes to talking about the situation with the American, she'd rather avoid the discussion altogether, even begging at one point, 'Would you please please please please please please please stop talking? They are 'white in the sun' while the land in front of them is 'brown and dry. The number two is also playing a big role in the story because it is symbolizing that in the end it will be him and her, or her and the baby. The woman views the baby as an expensive gift because she will have to lose her boyfriend in the exchange of the gift. The fact that she is called a girl also indicates her immaturity. The American does not make it easy for her in any way, but for him, it is so simple.
The girl and the American are enjoying their beers, and the American decides to get right to the point. Frustrated and placating, the American man will say almost anything to convince his girlfriend to have the operation, which, although never mentioned by name, is understood to be an abortion. At a purely stylistic level, Hemingway exposes the inadequacy of language through his use of unnamed characters and minimalist, stripped down sentences. In 'Hills Like White Elephants,' Ernest Hemingway addresses this same concern. Who says the hills look like white elephants? Updated October 25, 2019.
Conflicts in “Hills Like White Elephants” Analysis Free Essay Example 1518 words
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: whether or not to have an abortion. First of all, she makes a decision on choosing beer at the beginning. His belief is that the choice for abortion will free them to return to the lives they had lived before the pregnancy Short Stories for Students. Let's take a look at the symbols used by Hemingway to illustrate this theme. This statement is symbolic of life and death in which the tense conversation over the abortion operation is about. The American thus tries to escape the reality in which he has found himself by convincing the girl that abortion is the easiest way out. To… As the story makes clear from the beginning, both the man and the girl are accustomed to a free, uncommitted lifestyle.
Crusial Themes in Hills Like White Elephants Essay
The thought keeps her in a precisely concrete position, which the baby has to be given into the life. They represent strength, protection, wisdom and good luck. It is not a rare occasion that authors include some details from their personal life in their works. In the beginning, she said the mountains look like white elephants. Throughout the conversation, it gradually indicates that she will keep the baby regardless of whatever reasons the man provides. The story presents the theme of loss of love. On one side of the station, there is vegetation and fields of grain, while the other side is dry and barren Short Stories for Students 159.