Hills Like White Elephants

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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Narrative Fiction Essay Hills Like White Elephants English 1B Human relationships are very important in our lives. We need someone with whom we can share our thoughts, happiness, sadness, dreams and for some of us, perhaps our whole life with. These items, our natural desires are the basis of relationships. In the short story, Hills Like White Elephants we are presented with the story of two people, a man and a girl, a situation, pregnancy, and a variable which the author leaves open for interpretation, their future. We are made aware that the two individuals once shared a human relationship for the genuine reasons that I've stated above, however, we are dropped into the middle of a conversation regarding a dilemma that we understand the two feel very different about. The author, Ernest Hemingway, comprehensively uses setting to reveal the two's past, conflicting present situation and their uncertain future. In fact, after close examination of the author's use of setting in the story the end isn't so inconclusive and we may be able to more accurately foretell the couple's destiny.

I describe the author's use of setting as "comprehensive"� because it revealed itself to me in different manners after six readings of the story. I retained more and more meaning from the story acknowledging the use of setting instead of the content of the man and woman's dialogue.

The Spanish country as an immediate use of setting is significant in meaning and sets the ironic tone of the story. Such a dramatic dilemma occurring in a predominately Catholic country where the church stands in firm opposition to abortion is quite ironic. I had the opportunity to reside in southern Spain for a year and a half. Spaniards took much pride in their Catholic beliefs; Christmas was a large weeklong celebration,