Cliff Notes/Hills Like White Elephants cliff notes 17026

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Hills Like White Elephants The author uses objective pint of view to not only distance himself from this story, but to show the reader the difficulty that the two characters are having in communicating with each other. The author further shows us the lack of communication by allowing the reader to read into the story and find out exactly what is being said. He uses this approach to convey a topic so sensitive it s almost taboo. In distancing himself from the story, he shows no favoritism to either character. The reader is forced to figure out what is being said and why. The obstacles that the character's face is an unplanned pregnancy doubled by their lack of communicating their thoughts to each other. The conversation would not be as painful if the man would have said; I do not want you to have this child because it would mess up my whole way of life. To continue with my theory of the communication breakdown, consider the setting and the mans way of life. The story takes place at the train station and from the text we can tell that the man likes traveling, is young, and interested in other cultures: Ex: the station was between two lines of rails in the sun. [Setting] Ex: Dos cerveszas, the man said [he can speak a different language]He is not about to let this girl s pregnancy ruin his life so he tries to make her believe that an operation is a simple process, It s not really an operation at all. This sentence shows us how desperate he is to convince this girl to have an abortion because he s not ready to settle down. There is further deceit by him constantly contradicting himself. After he says something positive to the girl he makes sure he says something negative. Consider this example from the text: You ve got to realize that I don t want you I don t want you to do it if you don t want to. But when she asked if it means anything to him, he states, Of course it does. But I don t want anybody but you. I don t want anyone else. And I know it s perfectly simple. Once again he is contradicting himself on purpose to try and persuade the girl to have an operation that he lacks insight on the future repercussion of. By this I mean he is not able to see how is pressuring her to do something that will effect both their lives and eventually end his relationship with her. His lifestyle portrays his lack of stability and a baby would mean stability. The communication gap is further strengthened by the relationship between the two characters. In a relationship were the man has more control its very difficult for a women to state her point and stand by it. We have an insight to who wears the pants in this relationship because the story uses words such as man and girl suggesting inferiority. The girl shows her inferiority by her actions and the words that she chooses. Clearly she may be the smarter of the two but from her reactions it seems as if she will unable to express her opinions when the topic of abortion was brought up but it is clear that she wants to keep the child:

Ex: The girl look at the ground the table rested on .did not say anything, Ex: Once they take it away, you never get it back. But because she wants to please him, it is obvious that she will go through with it and suffer the consequences of the future: Then I ll do it. Because I don t care about me. The girl us unable to effectively communicate with the guy and in trying to avoid confrontation she strengthens my theory of her being weak and dependent on this man. Ex: Please Please ..stop talking. So far I have discussed the lack of communication in both the characters. The mans dominance over the relationship and the women s helplessness leads to her eventually doing something that she really doesn t want to do. Her use of symbolism is very clear but ineffective to a man with little perception. She knows that the decision she makes will change the rest of their lives but the man sees her decision as either changing or maintaining his lifestyle. He doesn t realize that he s at a crossroad in his life and he s about to pass it by. The author chooses this setting to down play the importance of this serious situation. He wanted us to know that the authoritative figure in this story thought it appropriate to talk about a topic like this on a train. It s obvious that he s not taking this situation seriously. This falls in line with communication because it is hard to communicate well in 40 min on a train. This dialog if rehearsed by two people would only have taken 5-10 min.The author also uses components of the setting, a beaded curtain, which distracts the girl from the conversation; the girl looked at the bead curtain, put her hand out and took hold of two of the strings of beads. Obviously she sees her self in a no win situation rather than trying to express herself in what may be the most important decision of her life. It also should be noted that the curtain have a design of a drink on it and this could represent the mans lifestyle because drinking is a part of hid lifestyle. Ex: Anis del Toro. It s a drink. To conclude my essay, although the woman uses symbolism, it is not used effectively to get her point across to the man because of their lack of communication. This story describes a man who uses his authority over a woman to pressure her into making a tragic mistake that will dwell in her for the rest of her life. Hills Like White Elephants represent the unborn child and the mans attitude toward the unborn child. One mans trash is another man s treasure. The baby represents a worthless item to the man, yet priceless item to the girl.


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