I Feel Fine

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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I feel fine ?I feel fine,? those infamous words uttered by any woman, which has any other meaning than its correct definition, are stated by Jig in Ernest Hemingway?s, ?Hills Like White Elephants.? Ask any man what it means when a woman says, ?I?m fine? or ?I feel fine? and he?ll say it means she doesn?t feel fine at all; in fact he?ll most likely go as far to say as it means the total opposite, that the woman is actually really upset over something. Even women, if they are honest with themselves, will admit, that when they use the word ?fine? after having an argument, that everything is not ?fine.? So what does it mean? Generally it means, ?I?m upset, but don?t want to talk about it anymore so leave me alone,? or ?Just drop the subject already.? The ambiguity of the meaning of this word makes it such a perfect choice for Hemingway to include in ?Hills Like White Elephants,? where everything else in the story is ambiguous, including the actual topic being discussed by the two main characters.

Hemingway?s use of the word ?fine? greatly adds to the whole dimension of this short story by keeping the feelings of his characters up to the interpretation of the audience.

The first time the word ?fine? appears is when Hemingway writes, ??You started it,? the girl said. ?I was being amused. I was having a fine time.?? Here ?fine? is being used as an adjective to describe the time she was having. The best fit definition of ?fine?, as an adjective by The American Heritage Dictionary is, ?1. Of superior quality, skill, or appearance: a fine day; a fine writer.? Despite the fact the girl was trying to be pleasant by talking about the hills...