The importance of the clean, well-lighted place where one can sit is integral to maintaining dignity and formality amidst loneliness, despair and desperation. Nothing has been solved. 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.
Even today, most readers are still puzzled by the story. The man is using his logic in order to be as persuasive as possible.
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.
And to answer this question, we must make note of one of the few details in the story: The author seems to be indifferent both to the characters and to the reader; he pretends to be merely an objective observer content to report without comment the words and actions of these two people.
He is a drunk who has just tried to kill himself. 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.
Although the elderly man is without a companion or anyone waiting at home for him, he indulges his lapses from reality in a dignified and refined manner, expressed in his choosing of a clean, well-lighted place in the late hours of the night.
She, of course, desires the beauty, loveliness, and fertility of the fields of grain, but she knows that she has to be content with the barren sterility of an imminent abortion and the continued presence of a man who is inadequate.
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.
Glossary the Ebro a river in northeastern Spain; the second longest river in Spain. Abortion involves only a doctor allowing "a little air in. Can we, however, assume something about them — for example, is "the man" somewhat older and "the girl" perhaps younger, maybe eighteen or nineteen?
At the time, editors tried to second-guess what the reading public wanted, and, first, they felt as though they had to buy stories that told stories, that had plots.
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.
With or without the abortion, things will never be the same.
Instead, Hemingway so removes himself from them and their actions that it seems as though he himself knows little about them.
The very use of a clear and economical style to reveal a relationship that is troubled and complex is ironic. The use of the language of speech as the basis for the story, the insistence on presentation rather than commentary, the condensation, and the intensity are all basic elements of his theory of fiction.
She no longer acts in her former childlike way. It manifests the care, restraint, intensity, and control, the economy and precision that characterize his best prose. The dispassionate style appears to be absolutely appropriate to the cold, sophisticated, literal-minded, modern sensibility of the protagonist, yet in fact the man is revealed to be disingenuous and destructive.
The story seems to be void of artifice and emotion yet is carefully fashioned and powerfully felt. She tells the man to please shut up — and note that the word "please" is repeated seven times, indicating that she is overwhelmingly tired of his hypocrisy and his continual harping on the same subject.
They drink beer as well as two licorice-tasting anis drinks, and finally more beer, sitting in the hot shade and discussing what the American man says will be "a simple operation" for the girl.
At the end of their conversation, she takes control of herself and of the situation: He translates for her, even now: The tension remains, coiled and tight, as they prepare to leave for Madrid.
Compare this narrative technique to the traditional nineteenth-century method of telling a story.You might think that just Hamlet posed that question, but Hemingway's 'Hills like White Elephants' asks the same thing.
In this lesson, learn how the theme of this short story is still a hot. The short story "Hills Like White Elephants," by Ernest Hemingway, is about a young couple and the polemic issue of abortion. However, since the word "abortion is found nowhere is the story, it is mainly understood through Hemingway's use of literacy elements: setting and imagery/symbolism.
Ernest Hemingway’s short story ‘Hills like White Elephants’ depicts a couple, “the man” and “the girl”, casual conversation over drinks while awaiting the arrival of a train to Madrid. The story ends, as vaguely as it started, with the two about to embark on the train.
Ernest Hemingway tackles the issue of abortion in "Hills Like White Elephants." Without ever using the word "abortion," Hemingway conveys Jig's hesitation about the operation and the American man.
Hills Like White Elephants by: Ernest Hemingway "Hills Like White Elephants" is a short story by Ernest Hemingway that was first published in 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 man and a woman discussing an operation.Download