Hills Like White Elephants

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Structuralism and Deconstructive Perspective; Hills Like White Elephants Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway written in 1927 contains tense conflicts between individual characters within the story; when viewed through the theoretical lens of structuralism and deconstructionism various meanings are derived. Structuralism takes a scientific approach of semiotics; instead of being concerned with what a certain text means, it focuses on how a text structuralizes itself to give meaning. Deconstruction on the contrary goes beyond the means of structuralism and claims that texts carry infinite meanings. Structuralism focuses on the systems which makes a short story Hills Like White Elephants through different linguistic relationships; deconstructive…show more content…
The Saussaurian linguistic ideology uses an example to define the value of difference, “Modern French mouton can have the same signification as English sheep but not the same value, and this is for several reasons, particularly because in the speaking of a piece of meat ready to be served on the table, English uses mutton and not sheep. The difference in value between sheep and mouton is due to the fact that sheep has beside it a second term while the French term does not (Saussure 846).” In reference to Hills Like White Elephants, the male continuously refers to an operation he wants the girl to commit to. However, when reading the short story with a more in depth perspective it becomes clear that while the word operation is the signifier, it is abortion that is being signified. Though operation and abortion carry the same signification; the value of operation becomes increasingly tense in the short story because it is the basis of the conflicts between the man and the girl. Furthermore, the breakdown of languages inner duality is manifested through the scientific methods of syntagmatic and associative relations that allow the text to have a sort of life. To understand the text as a whole, structuralism argues that it is crucial to understand the separate parts of language. The emphasis of the idea of abortion within the short story show that the syntagmatic words carry associative relations that imply and suggests ideas of abortion. When talking about the licorice tasting drinks the American and the girl ordered, the American tells the girl to “Cut it out (Hemingway 336).” The first meaning of the word cut carries the notion that the man is telling the girl to stop talking of nonsense. However, the word cut carries a meaning that associates with the idea of abortion because the
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