This story is a great piece of writing from the collection of Ernest Hemingway. The short story concentrates on a man and a woman who are conversing. The name of the woman that the readers know is a jig. At this point, we can only assume that the man is her boyfriend/ husband. Both are waiting for the arrival of the train in Barcelona. As they sit, they place a two-beers order. At the same time, they attracted by the beautiful scenery of Ebro. From the look of things, it is as if the girl is dissatisfied with the lives they lead. They are both awaiting the express train to as they intend to travel from Barcelona. To be more specific, they intend to travel from Madrid. This story is objective documentation of their conversations and actions during their 40 minutes they waited for the train they were to travel in. The woman looks at the steep valley across Ebro. At the same time, she engages the man in a casual conversation. During that short while, the man carries their belongings around the station. He decides to drink alone in the bar.
The man talks to Jig and explaining to her that their discussion was based on a simple procedure if it qualified to be called so. His allusion is that they should relax and allow things to progress in their natural process. There is no need for panicking. The jig is not sure about what the man is saying. However, the man gives her an assurance he knows several people that have undergone the operation and received impressive results. That means that Jig should not fear the operation either. The jig is doubtful of what she hears from this man. However, she accepts to go on with the procedure not because she cares for her well-being. It is all in a bit to restore things to the way they have always been between them.
However, she begins to have her doubts again and having mixed feelings if things will ever be the same again. The man tries to waylay her biggest fears explaining that there is no need to proceed with the operation if she is not happy with it or feel that things may go wrong. This shows just how much he cares about her well-being. At this juncture, Jig requests that they should not continue with the same conversation as it makes her feel uncomfortable.
The Other Things You Need to Know in the Plot Overview
The arrival of the train they have been waiting for is announced. It is said, it would be there in 5 minutes. In preparation, the man takes their bags so that they do not forget anything during departure. They monitor the movement of the people who are around to be sure of where they should go. Finally, she insists and tells him that she is already feeling better though it looks like she is not. Simply put, Jig is trying to look fine in the eyes of the man.
It comes out that the whole talk is on an abortion procedure that Jig is to undergo. The interesting thing is that there has not been any mention of words or anything related to it in the whole conversation. The tone used by those in the conversation is full of short syntax with no adverbs in the whole story. This is meant to enhance their actions. The reader can tell that Jig is unsure of whether or not she wants to proceed with the procedure. The man is seen as a voice persuading her into it. She goes on to though deep down she is not convinced if it is the right thing.
There are several instances of symbolism in the story which assists the readers to figure the subject of discussion. There are examples involving the title used. In normal conversations, the “elephant in the room” often refers to a subject people never want to discuss. As seen, the couple avoids any direct or indirect reference of the term “abortion.” The outlook of these hills is a representation of the shape of the pregnancy. Their presence at the train station symbolizes that the two are at a critical stage of their relationship and they need to make a crucial decision. Their luggage shows the state of the lavish lifestyle they lead and are used to. It also represents the burden felt by the woman as she tries to make the decision.
Therefore, the main theme of this text could be about communicating properly and the listening skills that people should possess to comprehend what others have to say properly. The point is that you should listen to everyone to the sweet things that make you feel better. This marks the end of the synopsis.