Hills Like White Elephants Summary
This is a short story authored by Ernest Hemmingway. It narrates a conversation between Jig and the American who is presumed to be her boyfriend. The following is a summary of the story:
A Short Overview of the Story
This narrative begins with a detailed description of the environment within a train station engulfed by hills, trees, and fields in a Spanish valley. Jig and her boyfriend are seated at a table just outside the station awaiting a train ride to Madrid.
The American orders two beers due to the hot weather. Jig remarks that the surrounding hills resemble white elephants, and the American says that she has never come across one. The couple orders more drinks and starts arguing on the taste of those drinks. The American then castigates her and suggests they should be having a nice time. Jig replies that she is barely having fun and it is then that she claims the hills no longer resemble white elephants anymore.
They continue drinking, and the American eventually mentions that he wants Jig to undergo an operation. However, he does not specify the kind of operation. He looks agitated and attempts to trivialize the seriousness of the operation.
Jig remains silent for some time but then asks what shall happen after she undergoes the operation. The American says things will be the same as they were before and that the operation will solve their problems. He claims he knows people who underwent the operation and found happiness later. At first, Jig is adamant about not undergoing the operation but agrees on the condition that the American will still love her, and they shall together live happily afterward.
The American, after that, emphasizes his love for Jig. However, Jig states she does not care about whatever happens to her. His boyfriend then suggests that she should not undergo the operation if that is what she felt about it. Jig walks to the far end of the station, observes the scenery & contemplates on the possibility of them attaining happiness if she undergoes the operation.
They momentarily argue until Jig finally the American promises to keep quiet. The bartender brings them two more drinks and informs them of the train’s arrival in 5 minutes. Jig smiles then ask the American what the bartender said. After finishing their beers, the American takes their luggage to the platform then comes back into the bar and notices that the other people were also waiting for the same train. He then asks Jig if she feels any better. Jig says she is fine and nothing is wrong with her.