Hills Like White Elephants Essay Questions and Answers
Hills like white elephants Hills like white elephants is an account ed by Ernest Hemingway whose settings is a café situated in Spain where an American man and a girl are resting while waiting for a train to Madrid. They seem to be engrossed in a conversation about an operation in which the man terms as “awfully simple operation” but the girl seems not to agree with him (Hemingway 476). From the text, she utilizes a sarcastic tone when in her replies to the American comments.
1. What are jig’s responses to the American wishes?
The man as seen from the account suggests to the girl (Jig) about the operation. At first, she does not respond to the man’s comments as she continues to drink her beer and look around the environment surrounding her (Hemingway 476). She then responds with a question n asking the man what they will do after the operation. From the tone, she seems concerned after the operation, which in this case is an abortion, that things between them might be different or change (Hemingway 476).
The man respond to the girl’s concerns by telling her he will be with her all the time during the operation and the he knows many people that have been through the operation. This is to try and put the girl at ease. The girl responds to this by saying she too knows people who have done it before “and afterward they were all so happy (Hemingway 477).” This statement is sarcastic. The man responds to this by saying she does not have to undergo the operation if she does not want to. Clearly it is clear he wishes for her to have an abortion but the girl is worried that things may change after it.
This conversation continues as the man tells her he cares and loves her. The lady responds by walking away to the edge of the station (Hemingway 478). She starts wishful thinking about the places they would go and the things they would do. She looks at the distant hills that she keeps referring as “white elephants (Hemingway 475).” The man responds to her saying that they can’t have the things she was referring to and convinces her to come back and sit at the shade. The man continues to talk but she responds asking him to stop talking. They sit waiting for the train to arrive (Hemingway 478).
2. In what ways can you determine what her wishes are?
Her wishes can be determined from her words that she speaks to the man. From the text, she wishes they can have all the beauty she sees as she stands at the edge of the station. Gazing at fields of grain as well as trees while along the Ebro retorts “And we could have all this (Hemingway 477).” She further ends up claiming they could go everywhere, which is all wishful thinking. However the man denies this contending they cannot have any of it. Through her actions as depicted in the text, it is quite apparent she is trying to please the man as she is willing to go on with the operation.
3. What is happening to her judgement about the American?
Her judgment about the American varies as the story continues. From the beginning it was evident that she was not sure about the operation and she relies on the American’s words in order to come into terms in accepting to undergo the operation. At the beginning she trusts the American’s judgement for she lets him order their beer. She also trusts him and she agrees to try the new beer “Anis del Toro (Hemingway 475).”
It is also evident that she trusts the American’s judgement for she continually listens to him about the simplicity of the operation apparent in the way she asks for reassurance from him. However, as the account progresses, her judgment about the American dwindles and she starts to question the American ways. It can be seen where she says “I wanted to try this new drink, That’s all we do, isn’t it-look at things and try new drinks (Hemingway 476)?”
She also continually uses sarcasm as she questions about their happiness after the operation. The American says that they will be happy as he also refers to people he knows that have done it before. She replies to this in way that shows she does not fully agree with the statement (Hemingway 477).
Upon the train’s arrival, which took approximately five minutes, the lade appears to be more certain re operation and the extent of their relationship seems to grow deeper. This is coupled by her reassurance that she trusts his judgment and places her trust in him for she seems fully convinced to undergo the operation. She idolises the American as a man who knows what he is talking about despite his lack of emotion as he refers to the pregnancy as the only thing that made them unhappy (Hemingway 476).
In the end, her judgment of the American seems to be restored as they wait for the arrival of the train. They both seem happy and are willing to take the next step of their relationship.
Hemingway, Ernest. “Hills Like White Elephants.” Ann, Ed. The Story and its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. 6th Ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003. Print.