Hills Like White Elephants

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Set in the hills of Spain, Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” is a short story of an American man and a woman who is presumed to be his girlfriend, though it is never actually spoken of. The couple is awaiting a train to Madrid and decide to take shade in a near by bar and have a few drinks. While drinking the American sparks up conversation with the girl, and although Hemming way uses direct dialoged between the characters, the subject of the conversation is left for analysis. Some elements that play a huge role in the short story are it’s setting, characters, and symbols. Hemmingway used these elements in a way that formed the story in a way a lot of room for interpretation of its theme. The setting in the story plays an important role because it directly relates the theme of the story. Hemmingway begins by giving…show more content…
On this side there was no shade and no trees and the station was between two lines of rails in the sun. Close against the side of the station there was the warm shadow of the building and a curtain, made of strings of bamboo beads, hung across the open door into the bar, to keep out flies. The first line of the paragraph allows us to understand the later symbolism and establishes the situation of the hills that the woman is talking about. Throughout the story Hemmingway does not change the setting but allows for movement. The elements of symbolism are very important to the story. Hemmingway sets the tone of the conversation as casual as first and then allows for it to get heavier with interpretation. The woman begins to talk about the white hills looking that of white elephants (Line 9). In interpretation the white hills represent the woman’s stomach, later suggesting she is with child. A bit later in the conversation the man begins taking about an operation, “It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig” (Line 42). Though it is never said, this could be suggesting
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