English 200 F2
May 23, 2012
Paper #2 Rewrite
Life and Death
The setting, which is the surroundings in which something is, can be used in literature by authors to help them explore their theme in their works. In the story “The Specialist’s Hat” by Kelly Link and “Hills like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway, both use this device to show the theme of life and death. Link’s story talks about two twin girls, named Samantha and Claire, who live in a mansion with only their father after their mother dies. In the story, the girls play a death game with their babysitter, acting like they are dead. They say and perform all the things someone can do if they happen to die. In the end of the story, the game turns serious and the girls are killed by their babysitter. In Hemingway’s story, a pregnant woman named Jig is deciding to get an abortion or not. She has to make the decision with her love for an American man in mind because he encourages her to get an abortion saying that they can go back to the way they were. Throughout the story the girl, who is at a train stop, looks at both of her options about the abortion before making her final choice. Setting is an important element in both Link’s “The Specialist’s Hat” and Hemingway’s “Hills like White Elephants”; however, Hemingway uses setting better to explore the theme of life and death.
The use of description in the settings of “The Specialist’s Hat” and “Hills like White Elephants” both help the authors with theme of life and death. The setting in “The Specialist’s Hat” is in an old mansion called “Eight Chimneys” that gives a frightening feeling from it. Link writes “Eight Chimneys is as big as a castle, but dustier and darker than Samantha imagines a castle would be” (Link 1). The mansion being dustier and darker gives it off as a haunted mansion. A place that is haunted seems to relate to ghosts, which have died there. This gives the mansion a sense that is a creepy place...