Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway

Essay by KrisJB927University, Master'sA+, May 2004

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Hills Like White Elephants, written by Ernest Hemingway, cleverly and painfully captures the difficulty of talking about abortion. Ernest Hemingway is known for writing stories in which the unsaid is often suggested, and this is very evident in Hills Like White Elephants. In this story, two characters discuss an "operation," but neither comes out and says what the "operation" is. It is suggested in this story that they are talking about the woman having an abortion, but it is never really said. Hemingway has a very simple style of writing and the intensity of the story comes through in the conversation of the characters. This is very evident within the conversations of the characters. Almost every sentence and phrase in this story has some type of symbolization to pregnancy and fertility. This story is also very symbolic of Hemingway's writing because it discusses a modern topic, in this case abortion.

In this paper, I will critique and analyze the theme of pregnancy and how the couple discusses it. I will discuss different objects in the setting and how it might point to the theme of pregnancy and fertility. This theme is shown throughout the story and I will give numerous examples to back this statement up. At no time does anyone mention the word abortion, but after reading Hills Like White Elephants I realized that it is what is being discussed through symbolism.

Within the first paragraph, Hemingway discusses the setting and hills that were long and white. I have heard many times that white elephants could symbolize a burden. After reading on, I believe that the white hills symbolize the burden of pregnancy on the

couple in the story. The hills could also symbolize the swelling of a woman's stomach due to pregnancy. The white elephant...