Language and Setting Discussion of Hills Like White Elephants

Language and Setting Discussion of Hills Like White Elephants
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The short story “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway is set in a small train station in Spain. The language and setting of this story enable the reader to explore themes such as communication, gender roles, choice, and control.

Exploring the Symbolism in Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants”

The story of “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway is full of symbols that indicate a deeper meaning than what appears on the surface. The title itself references the white hills in the distance, which are symbolic of a baby and its innocence. The hills also represent an obstacle between the two characters, as they must decide whether to go through with the abortion that is being discussed. The train station in which the action takes place is also symbolic, as it represents the crossroads at which their relationship stands. On one side of the tracks lies life and its possibilities, while on the other lies death and finality.

The dialogue between Jig and The American is also full of symbolism. Jig’s statement “I feel fine” is a sort of false confidence that masks her true feelings about the situation. On the other hand, The American’s insistence on having the abortion could be seen as representative of his desire for freedom and lack of commitment to their relationship.

The beer and absinthe that the two characters consume throughout the story also symbolizes their relationship. Beer represents pleasure and joy, while absinthe is a stronger drink with an often bitter ending. This could be seen as representative of the couple’s situation, which begins in a place of joy but may end in sorrow if they go through with the abortion.

Deciphering the Language of “Hills Like White Elephants”: A Close Reading

The story is written almost entirely in dialogue between two people without any narration. This leaves little room for explanation or background information, forcing readers to rely on their own interpretations of the symbolism. For example, Hemingway uses the title of the story to reflect the couple’s dilemma: “hills like white elephants” can be interpreted as a metaphor for their unborn child, with the hills representing a decision that must be made. Through this metaphor, Hemingway implies that whichever path they take will have lasting consequences.

The dialogue between the characters is laden with subtle implications and subtext. For example, the dialogue between the American man and the girl suggests that he is trying to convince her to have an abortion, while she expresses ambivalence towards the decision. The man’s lines are often cold and condescending, suggesting his lack of empathy for the girl’s situation.

Through a close reading of the language in “Hills Like White Elephants,” readers can gain a deeper understanding of Hemingway’s exploration of love, morality, and responsibility. By analyzing the symbolism and themes in the story, readers can draw their own conclusions about the couple’s relationship and moral dilemma.

Understanding the Themes of “Hills Like White Elephants”

In Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Hills Like White Elephants,” many themes are presented. The primary theme is the struggle between traditional values and modern individualism, which is seen in the interactions of the two characters, an American man and a Spanish woman. The story takes place at a train station in Spain where the couple is waiting for a train. As they wait, the woman expresses her feelings about an upcoming event that will affect their relationship.

The man wants the woman to get an abortion, but she resists and instead suggests that they go off together to Madrid and live life in a more relaxed way than either of them have before. The man sees this as impractical and resists, but the woman’s suggestion reveals her desire to escape traditional values and embrace a new kind of life. The man is convinced that getting an abortion is the right choice, yet he fails to recognize that it goes against the woman’s beliefs.

The themes of traditional values versus modern individualism are explored in depth through the conversations between the two characters. The woman is pushing for freedom and independence, while the man wants to maintain control over the situation. This struggle creates a tension that builds throughout the story as they argue until finally they reach an understanding of sorts. In this way, Hemingway paints a picture of a relationship in conflict with itself as it attempts to adapt to the changing times.

The other major theme of “Hills Like White Elephants” is communication. The two characters struggle to communicate their feelings and intentions, as evidenced by their frequent misunderstandings as they try to work through their issues. Their inability to effectively communicate leads to frustration on both sides, which reinforces the theme of traditional values versus modern individualism.

Ultimately, Hemingway’s story is a complex exploration of conflicting beliefs and ideologies in a relationship. The themes of traditional values versus modern individualism and communication are both explored in depth, creating an insightful look into how two people can find themselves at odds with one another and yet still strive to understand each other. By carefully analyzing the conversations between the two characters, we can gain a better understanding of how different beliefs and outlooks can both clash and come together to create something greater than either one alone.