This essay was written about the significance of landscape using his "Big Two Hearted River" and "Hills Like White Elephants."
The Significance of Landscape
Hemingway uses landscape to reflect his characters emotions and also as a secondary character in his stories. Two good examples of this are Hemingway's "Big Two Hearted River" and "Hills Like White Elephants."
In "Big Two Hearted River," Nick was the only human character but the scenery definitely played a huge role. In the beginning of the story Hemingway describes an old town that had been burnt to ashes. "There was no town, nothing but the rails and the burned over country." (pg. 163) Leaving you with a sense of loneliness and despair, Hemingway uses this scenery to paint a picture of not only how the town looked but how the character must have felt. Throughout his hike toward the country, away from the burnt over town, the scenery had started to change and so did the mood.
"There was nothing but the pine plain ahead of him, until the far blue hills that marked the Lake Superior height of land." (pg. 164) Using the pine plain, and the blue hills to describe what's ahead, gives you a sense of relief, like there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
Hemingway's use of old verses new allows you to feel a sense that when ever something dies, something is born, or when ever there is an end, there must be a new beginning. Hemingway describes the river and the woods as being the image of everything that is unblemished and whole. The closer he gets to the river, the closer to he gets to the serenity he had been searching for. "He sat on the...