Analysis of Jig
Ernest Hemmingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” deals with one of America’s biggest issues today, abortion. In this short story a girl named Jig gets pregnant. Now she has to choose between keeping her unborn child or do the alternative. In the story Hemmingway created this symbolic dialogue with no direct statement to what she wants to do, but throughout the dialogue she tries to find her true character.
Jig in many ways is the protagonist. First off, the whole story is about her. It is about her making a decision. She also is the only character to be given a name, a unique name at that. Jig can be defined as many different things. For example it could mean joke or trick; to bob or jerk up and ...view middle of the document...
For example, “The mountains looked like white elephants.” (401). This could mean several different things. White is the color or pureness and innocence, as white is her unborn child. A white elephant is something unique to see. She also admires the rest of the scenery. She always viewed it two different ways. One side had tress with a river and was beautiful, but on the other side there was no shade and it was brown. The only way she saw the world was through two ways but neither of those ways are going backwards.
Jig seems very uncertain about her decision. Her life style seems to be nothing more than “…-looking at things and try new drinks (401). This life style means that she could live a carefree life, which included “looking at things and trying new drinks”. Now that she is pregnant she has come to realize that this is no longer her desire. If she were to have this baby she would not be able to live that way anymore. The idea of having the abortion is suggest by the man. “It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig.” “It’s not really an operation at all.” (401). Jig does not reply back to that statement. She simply looks down at the floor.
The decision, which was never directly stated, that Jig had to make was one of the hardest decisions a woman could face. Hemmingway found a way to use the scenery to influence her decision making. He always refers to the hills, trees, clouds, and railroads. He created a “Godly” way of looking at things. Instead of him making her think about herself she thought about what could be and how beautiful it could be to create something as beautiful the things she was looking at. She wants to create her own “White Elephant”.