"Setting is Essential" Ernest Hemingway uses the setting of Hills Like White Elephants to develop his argument.

Essay by linz40College, UndergraduateA+, April 2003

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The short story "Hills Like White Elephants", by Ernest Hemingway, is a story about a man and a girl, Jig, who are going on a trip. The woman is going there to have an operation. The author does not tell us specifics about the procedure. The story looks at a conversation taking place between the couple. There is some sort of conflict throughout this scene that Hemingway presents to us. The woman does not want to have the operation that her significant other wishes her to have. The two people are waiting in the valley of Ebro for a train to take them to the place where the girl will have her operation. Hemingway uses the setting of this story to develop his argument, and in doing this we can determine if the woman has her child in the end.

The first encounter of the setting comes in play at the beginning of the story.

The man and Jig are at a train station located between two lines of rails. These two sets of tracks are going in two opposite directions. One track represents a crossroad in Jig's life and her relationship with the man. This track also shows the carefree lifestyle the couple has been living since they travel a lot. We know this because their suitcases are marked with labels from hotels where they have stayed. On the other hand, the track going in the opposite direction stands for a new life for a mother and the new responsibilities that she will encounter in raising a child. With a child she will not be able to travel around the world, stay in different hotels, and live the carefree life like she once led. This dilemma that she faces, whether she takes the track leading to...