Hills Like White Elephants

The Free essays given on our site were donated by anonymous users and should not be viewed as samples of our custom writing service. You are welcome to use them to inspire yourself for writing your own term paper. If you need a custom term paper related to the subject of Cliff Notes or Hills Like White Elephants , you can hire a professional writer here in just a few clicks.

The Symbolism in Hills Like White Elephants Ernest Hemingway is an incredible writer, known for what he leaves out of stories not for what he tells. His main emphasis in Hills Like White Elephants seems to be symbolism. Symbolism is the art or practice of using symbols, especially by investing things with a symbolic meaning or by expressing the invisible or intangible by means of visible or sensuous representations (WWWebster Dictionary). He uses this technique to emphasize the importance of ideas, once again suggesting that he leaves out the important details of the story by symbolizing their meaning. This short story is filled with symbolism, some of which the reader may never find. The title itself can be analyzed a lot deeper. The “hills” refers to the shape of the female body during pregnancy and the “white elephants” symbolize a property requiring much care and expense and yielding little profit (WWWebster Dictionary). The story is about a man and a woman taking a train to get an abortion. The train is supposed to show change and movement, something this couple appears to need because their life is very routine. The reader is told that there is a curtain made of strings of bamboo beads, hung across the open door into the bar, to keep out flies. The bamboo beads not only keep them from their problems (known as flies) but it also keeps their lives separate from all of the other people at the bar. Hemingway then tells the reader that the train will stop at this junction for two minutes and then go to Madrid. The train only stopping for two minutes is to show the importance of the girl’s decision to have the abortion. It is a big decision and there is not that much time for her to sit around and think about it. The guy and the girl are now sitting at a bar deciding what they should drink. The girl takes off her hat and puts it on the table. This action symbolizes her putting her feelings on the table to talk about them with the man. Instead of coming straight out and talking about the problems the couple decides to drink beer. The act of consuming alcohol is another way for them to run away from their problems. Later on, the man and the woman are talking and the woman says, “They look like white elephants.” He replies to her comment by saying, “I’ve never seen one.” Knowing what we know about white elephants (their meaning of valuable things that are hard to maintain) this shows that the man has never had to deal with a situation like this. Her retort is “No, you wouldn’t have.” This reveals that she thinks he’s a coward who has never faced a problem like this before. The couple continues to drink throughout the story. At one point the girl shows that she has some faith in what the man thinks by asking him what way they should drink their drinks, with or without water. The couple then orders two Anis del Toro. This is a new drink to the woman, so like any curious drinker she wonders what it will taste like. She hopes that the drink will taste different than others she has tried but finds that it tastes like licorice. The girl then says, “Everything tastes like licorice. Especially all the things you’ve waited so long for, like absinthe.” When she says this it refers to how she thought that this relationship would be different than others, but once she got into it she realized that he is just like all the other guys she has dated in the past. Later in the story she adds to this feeling of repetition by saying, “That’s all we do, isn’t it- look at things and try new drinks.” She really seems to be bored with the same things this relationship continues to produce. Alcohol continues to be a factor in this story. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that Hemingway seemed to deal with a lot of his problems by drinking. The couple orders more drinks and continues to try and discuss the issue of the abortion. “It is really an awfully simple operation, Jig. It’s not really an operation at all.” These are the unfelt words from the man to the girl. He looks at the abortion as a simple operation, not as taking a future persons life. It is also reveled at this point that the girl’s name is Jig, a name meaning to move with rapid jerky motions. This name might revel something to her actions with males. The man says that for the operation “They just let the air in,” basically inferring that it is as easy as opening a window. He also seems to refer to the pregnancy as a problem; “We’ll be fine afterward. Just like we were before. That’s the only thing that bothers us.” It is assumed by both parties in this relationship that there are only supposed to be two people in this relationship. “The girl looked at the bead curtain, put her hand out and took hold of two of the strings of beads.” There are only two beads in her hand; this doesn’t include room for another person in this relationship. She later shows that she doesn’t really know if she wants to go through with this operation, perhaps she does want the baby to enter the relationship. “And once they take it away, you never get it back.” At the end of the story the man reveals that he doesn’t want to have the kid because it will prohibit their current lifestyle of carefree travel. “There were labels on them [the bags] from all the hotels where they had spent nights.” The man is happy with his lifestyle, and having this child would inhibit him from continuing. He feels that if they have the child that he will be locked into their relationship and will never be able to enjoy his light-hearted life again. It isn’t really easy to understand this story because it is only told in a small amount of time. Hemingway doesn’t tell you about the characters pasts or futures, the story is all about the present. Even at the end of the story he doesn’t tell you how the couple decides to deal with this issue, instead he leaves that up to the reader. The main description in the story is his symbolism, once again inferring that Hemingway leaves the stories plot to the reader. These stories require more effort from the reader, but seem to turn out differently for ever reader making them a bit more interesting. Word Count: 1119

Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Related Essays on Cliff Notes

Shirley Shisholm

W.S 10 11:00 Return to 12:00 12/6/99 Shirley Chisholm, first African American woman to be elected to Congress was born in Brooklyn on November 30, 1924. She is one of the most profound...

read more
Presidential Debate

Presidential Debate Essay Al Gore and Governor George W. Bush are running for the Presidency. The two candidates are in Presidential Debate to allow the voters to get an understanding of wh...

read more
American History

American History CLINTON ADMINISTRATION Every election year, candidates come and go with all sorts of different issues. This year re-elected President Bill Clinton came up with the thr...

read more
Election 2000

Election 2000 "He graduated from Harvard University, joined the army and went to war in Vietnam even though he opposed the war and spent six-teen years in congress" (Martinez 13A). His nam...

read more
Abortion Should Not Be Legal

Abortion should not be legal, at all, in The United States of America In Roman times, abortion and the destruction of unwanted children was permissible, but as our civilization has aged, it ...

read more

What a duplicitous nation we are! America is two-faced when it comes to its children. We consistently react with outrage to stories of atrocities committed against children, yet we have few qualms...

read more
В интеренете нашел интересный веб сайт , он описывает в статьях про японская косметика для волос купить https://tokyozakka.com.ua/yaponskaya-kosmetikakosmetika-dlya-volos/