Communication Issues and Conflicts in "Hills Like White Elephants," "Daisy Miller," and "Queer"
The charaters in "Hills Like White Elephants," "Daisy Miller," and "Babylon Revisited" all communniacte with one another in very diffrent ways. The way the Daisy spoke to Winterborne, is diffrent from the way that The man spoke to Jig. The were many other ways in which the people in these stories communicated besdies speaking. Their emotions and feelings were expressed by the things they did, just as much as what they said. This is eveident in the way that Mrs Miller (Daisys mother) treated Winterbourne when they met, "she gave him no greeting-she certinaly was not looking at him"(297). The characters in these stories are complicated people, and they communicate mostly in complicated ways.
"Hills Like White Elephants" is a very short story, but has just as much meaning as any short story that I have read. The man and the woman are at a train station haveing a altercation about weather or not she should get a abortion. She does not want to. It is ovious in the things she says to the man. She says "I dont't care about me. And then I'll do it and everything will be fine"(1). She is saying that she only cares about him, and dose not care about herself. If she did care about herself, then she definatly would not get a abortion. She can not just tell him straight out that she wants to have this baby. The woman is so in love with the man, that she is willing to take the life of her unborn child. The man is in love with her as well, but also dose not want her to have the child. She was talking about the landscape around the train station, and without warning he comes out and says "Its really a simple operation, Jig, its not really a operation at all"(1). That was the only thing that is on his mind. She did not say anything to him, she "looked at the groud the table rested on"(1). That is another example of saying something without speaking. She did not want to talk about it, yet he had to. He said to her hypocritcally "I don't want you to it if you don't really want to"(1). That is a lie. I wants her to do it, and will keep talking about it until she agrees to do it. This man and womans relationship is going to go down hill from the time she has the abortion. She will always resint him for pushing her into doing it. She will resint herself as well for ever telling him that she really did not want to do it.
Unlike the woman in "Hills Like White Elephants", Elmer Cowley from "Queer" did not have problems expressing his feelings. His life was that of a son who was ashamed of his father. He was tired of his dad buying things that they could not sell in thier store. In his mind he felt he was being made a fool of. One day while his father was buying another senseless item that they did not need, he snapped. Elmer said to the salesman, "You get out of here!"(1155). He then pulled out a gun and pratically thretened to shoot the man. He then said "We ain't going to keep on being queer and have folks stareing and listening. You get out of here!"(1155). He oviously does not have trouble expressing his real emotions. It seems that his feelings about his life had been bottled up for a long time. He never told people how he felt, nor did he try to change the things in his life that he did not like. There is a correlation here between this story and "Hills Like White Elephants." I can see the woman doing the same thing in the coming years of her relationship with the man. After Elmer was done chewing out the salesman, he
beat up a man who he thought said bad things about him. He said "I showed him. I ain't so queer." He decided to get out of Winesburg, and go to the big city where people would not think that he is "queer". The most important thing in in Elmers life is what other people think of him. His life in the big city will be short because of his paranoia of what people think of him. He can not treat people the way he did in Winesburg.
In "Daisy Miller: A Study" Daisy was a flirt. She flaunted herself to men everywhere she went. She did not care what other people thought. Daisy and Elmer are totally diffrent in one big way. The last thing on Dasiys mind is what people think of her. When Mrs Walker was telling her of her reputaion she said "If this is improper, then I am inproper, and you must give me up"(310). Her death was the result of her selfishness. The most important people in her life wanted her to quit doing what she did. Daisy did not understand what the consequence of her flaunting would be until it was too late. Daisy Miller was not misunderstood, she misuderstood everyone else.
There is a overall theme to the 3 stories talked about in this paper. The communication or lack there of, did and will lead to the demise of all three main characters.