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Hills Like White Elephants - 5

  • Date Submitted: 11/28/2012 08:58 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 63.2 
  • Words: 725
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Earnest Hemingway wrote Hills like White Elephants. It involves an American man and his girlfriend. The story takes place at a train station somewhere in Spain. It is hot and it appears that they have been traveling awhile and are approaching the end of their travels. The story entails a conversation that the couple is having regarding the future of their apparent pregnancy and their relationship. The characterizations of the couple are made using many metaphors and similes. Narration of the story is done in almost complete dialogue, while omitting the main causes of their disagreement. While the female character's name is Jig the narrator does not refer to her by name; instead, he uses "the girl" in contrast to "the man" or "the American" for the male character.  The American in this story is selfish, and knowledgeable, and insensitive when talking to Jig about the abortion.
The American shows his selfishness because he wants Jig to have the abortion because he “doesn’t want anybody else but you” (Hemmingway 82). All he is interested in is his life with Jig continuing as it has, roaming the world and having sex in different hotels, as Hemingway’s description of the couple’s bags confirms: “He…looked at the bags against the wall of the station. There were labels on them from all the hotels where they had spent nights” (Hemmingway 82). He makes the operation less frightening by saying that it is perfectly simple, and he knows many people that have done it. To make the operation seem less frightening, he asserts that it is perfectly simple (Hemmingway 47). Interestingly, he never mentions that the operation is “safe,” a notable omission.
Throughout the story, the American is very knowledgeable. At the beginning when they are ordering drinks Jig has to rely on him to order for her because he speaks Spanish. When he starts talking about the operation he seems to know a lot about abortion procedure. He says, “its just to let the air in. I know lots of people that...


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