Analyzing Hemingway's Short Story “Hills Like White Elephants”

869 words - 4 pages

Analyzing Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Hills like white elephants” at first glance is difficult to understand. It undoubtedly causes most readers to go over it multiple times to grasp exactly what is taking place. The way the story is written is so complex with the 50/50 mixture of traditional storytelling and an abundance of character to character dialogue as well. That’s not the best part; the story’s setting means everything to it. The Train station setting ties in to the plot of the story, the characters behavior, and even the point of view that the story is being told from.

The story is about a man and a woman discussing the sensitive subject of abortion. They are ...view middle of the document...

”(pg.116) Then you realize the girl has no knowledge of the language.
The interesting thing about the story is by reading the story you realize it’s not narrated by the author because you are never made aware of the couple’s actual relationship. For all we know they could be father and daughter, siblings, or friends. The Man and women can be ruled out as narrator because they aren’t mentioned by name but simply as an American man and a girl and most likely wouldn’t use third person. Being that they are at a train station it was most likely a nearby passenger waiting for the train that is eavesdropping.
The setting outside of the train station factors in just as much as their seating arrangement does. The man is the more talkative of the two and from what he says during the story, “We’ll be fine afterward just like we were before.” “I think it’s the best thing to do. But I don’t want you to do it if you don’t really want to.”(pg.118) You are aware of his stance on the situation at hand from their conversation.

While it’s a bit obvious that the man is in favor of the abortion you can see they are both nervous as is normal. Throughout the story they order drinks in an attempt to avoid the matter at hand and get their mind off things. Though for the girl it was near impossible...

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