Symbolism Of "Hills Like White Elephants"

1382 words - 6 pages

In Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Hills Like White Elephants” there is a controversy at the end of the story, whether or not the couple decides to have the abortion. Through out the story Hemingway uses symbolism to show two different paths the couple may choose to take; the fertile green side or the barren side with the white hills. The paths are two train tracks on either side of the train station. Although Hemingway may leave the ending of the story up to the reader, I think it can be argued that the couple didn’t go through with the abortion.
The setting and surroundings of the train station are very important because they symbolize the two paths the couple may take. In the beginning ...view middle of the document...

The girl, however, does want to make her “partner” happy and she doesn’t want to loose him, but it is easily understood that she does want the baby. When she walks over to other side of the station where everything is full of life she says, “And we can have all this” (134). By saying “we can have all this” at that side of the station where it is full of life, one might think she is saying we can have the baby which would give us life. I think the girl is very confused and she apparently young since she is referred to as a girl in the story. Although the American can be viewed many different ways I feel he does care about what makes her happy, but he also does want the abortion. In the story he says numerous times, “I don’t want you to do it if you don’t really want to” (132-34). The American is trying to make sure whatever decision they choose to make is going to be one the girl is comfortable with.
All through out the essay one would think the American and the girl would make the decision to have the abortion. There are ways the story leads to this assumption symbolically. Such as the reference to the number two through out story; the two beers, the two felt pads, the two bags of luggage, the two strings of beads the girl grabbed, and the train only stopping for two minutes. The couple has always been happy with the just the two of them, they are not sure if they will be happy if two turns into three. Another way the story leads to this assumption symbolically is the shadow of the cloud that moved across the field as the girls notices the scenery on the other side of the station. The shadow of the cloud might symbolize what society would think of her. In that time period women were not supposed to have children outside of wedlock. So that shadow is hovering over the side of fertility. All these symbolic meanings may stray the reader toward the conclusion that they did get the abortion, but the ending is where one could clearly make the assumption they didn’t.
Toward the end of the story the couple has an argument that results in the decision to have the baby. During their argument they were talking about the abortion and how the operation was perfectly simple. The girl begins to get irritated and ask the American to stop talking about it, and he finally says, “But I don’t want you to, I don’t care anything about it” (134). After the argument he says the he is going to move the bags to the other side of the station, the fertile side. The moving of the bags is a very important point in the story because it is the final decision of the couple. When he walks back over to girl, she smiles at him and the American says, “Do you feel better?” The girl...

Other Essays Like Symbolism of "Hills Like White Elephants"

The Cask of Amontillado and Hills Like White Elephants

611 words - 3 pages Analysis of “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe & “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemmingway Analysis of “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe Abstract “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe, is a short story about a man named Montessor who gets revenge on one of his “friends” named Fortunado by trapping him and burying him alive. Treatment Setting: Two kinds Plot: Man gets revenge on his “friend

Analyses on "Hills like White Elephants"

641 words - 3 pages as being more loyal than The American; hoping to make him happy no matter the cost to herself. She was ready to do anything to fix their relationship. Another trait that Jig showed, that The American lacked, was a sense of imagination. She expressed her imagination when she remarked that the hills in the valley resembled white elephants, which later in the short story is proven to be a symbol of the whole abortion topic as being, “the elephant

Cat in the Rain and Hills Like White Elephants

1020 words - 5 pages his stories, readers must piece the symbols and dialogue together to create the bigger picture! This was a common theme found in “Cat in the Rain” and “Hills Like White Elephants.” In the short story, “Cat in the Rain”, Ernest Hemingway sets the scene of his fiction in a hotel room in Italy on a rainy day. When I first began reading this story I was rather bothered by the American wife nagging to her husband about a street cat stuck in the rain

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

Hills Like White Elephants - Compare and Contrast Literary Pieces

1933 words - 8 pages sentences about the paths made me feel like I was in the story. I was able to picture a fork in the woods with two different paths that lead to different places. “The road not taken” had many forms of symbolism. The sentence “Two roads diverged” could mean many different things. It could mean two of any choice one person could make. The word “yellow” means aging or decay. This word used in the story made me feel that maybe Frost was old or getting old

Hills Like White Elaphants

541 words - 3 pages 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

Analysis on "Cat in the Rain" and "Hills Like White Elephant"

1190 words - 5 pages The` Pwint ENG2012 05/15/2012 From the two short stories of Hemingway, ‘The cat in the rain’ and ‘Hills like white elephants’, the first thing noted in his writing style is masculinity. Both stories are easy to read with simple dialogues, has similar character settings in which both hold a conversation between couples. Both stories contain a lot of meanings and symbols within them despite the simple read. The cat in the rain is

Step Into The Light         With Each Reading Of Ernest Hemingway’S

1222 words - 5 pages Step into the Light With each reading of Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants," the simple story becomes more complicated. Hemingway layers symbolism throughout the entire short story. The symbols used in the setting are especially vital to the reader's interpretation of the story. Many of the obvious symbols, the hills, the white elephant, and the terrain, allow the reader to interpret the story in different ways. Following the first

Portfolio

1093 words - 5 pages had to use many instances of symbolism throughout this essay, every time I used a symbol in this essay I had to support it with a lot of evidence and really analyze what I thought the author was trying to say. While only Ernest Hemingway truly knows what each symbol meant, I thought that I was able to effectively use my understanding of rhetorical knowledge to provide a well thought out essay into the deeper meanings of “Hills Like White Elephants

Hills of Elephant

1297 words - 6 pages James Bissell Mary Breland, Instructor English 102 February 3, 2011 Critical Review of “Hills Like White Elephants” In the story, “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway, we are introduced to two main characters, Jig and the American. From the story, it appears that the couple has been living a carefree lifestyle, traveling around Europe, having a good time together. However, the couple has been faced with a dilemma that has

The Powerful Male Authority

1702 words - 7 pages Where is the man who has the power and skill to stem the torrent of a women's will?- UnknownOn the pages of the short stories "The Yellow Wallpaper" and "Hills Like White Elephants" the control and power that men had over women is reflected in the conflicts women of these stories face. The male - female connection has evolved with the demands of time. Presently, in North America, women dominate corporate towers and universities, and are ever

Related Papers

Hills Like White Elephants Essay

1695 words - 7 pages that are described. Link writes, “The caretaker says the woods aren’t safe” (Link, 1). This quote shows that the girls aren’t allowed in the woods and Link doesn’t actually describe what is in the woods. She just says that it is dangerous to be in. The setting in both stories are pretty clear, however in “Hills like White Elephants” the setting complements the story’s main issue better. This is because the symbolism in the two sides of the train

Hills Like White Elephants Essay

1152 words - 5 pages Hills Like White Elephants Amber Colson ENG125: Introduction to Literature Aarika Chilson December 9, 2013 Hills Like White Elephants After reading the short story, Hills Like White Elephants, what was determined to be the theme and the literary elements of the story? In this essay I will explore my thoughts on that. This is what is believed to be how the author portrayed the story after I read it. Other readers may come to

Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants Essay

2522 words - 11 pages who’s lifestyle is threatened by a pregnancy (Ball). It seems to be plausible that Hemingway decides to write Hills Like White Elephants in order to put down on paper what he sees and feels in the simplest way (E. Hemingway, Brainy Quote). Sometimes, people are faced with tough decisions that can change their life forever. In the short story, Hills Like White Elephants, Ernest Hemingway tells how a couple faces the decision of whether or

Hills Like White Elephants Essay

612 words - 3 pages case the unborn baby. The girl casually says that the hills look like white elephants in the beginning of the story, but this clearly has a deeper meaning. Perhaps she is trying to discuss the baby? If so, the American misses this hint completely. The setting of the story is at a train station. This suggests that the relationship is at a crossroad. One will also see that the train station is in the middle of a valley, highlighting that there is