Tracy Lynn Radney
28 October 2009
One symbol in the story is the train station which is located between two cities Barcelona and Madrid. On a train, the track can only lead one way or go in the opposite direction, which means that Jig has not made a decision about what she is going to do. At the end of the story, we still do not know what Jig is going to do or which train she is going to take. The train station could also represent a crossroads for the young couple. This crossroad is for the decision to be made and also for their relationship. The tracks at the train station could also represent the relationship between Jig and the American. Tracks run side by side but never meet. Although Jig and the American are traveling together and in a relationship they may never see eye to eye about the decision they are trying to make.
The land description is also an important symbol in this story. When Jig looks at one side of the train station, she sees “the country was brown and dry” However, when Jig looks in a different direction she sees “fields of grain and trees along the banks of the Ebro. Far away, beyond the river, were mountains. The shadow of a cloud moved across the field of grain and she saw the river through the trees.” The two different descriptions are important because they symbolize the choices that Jig has to make, to have the baby or have an abortion. The dry side of the land could represent her feelings if she does not have the baby. It could also symbolize the abortion and death of her baby. The field of grain and trees represent fertility and life, which symbolizes her pregnancy and the life of her unborn child. The shadow would obviously seem to represent the abortion or death of her unborn child. However, the shadow going across the field could also mean what people may think of her if she keeps the baby.
Even the title “Hills Like White Elephants” is a symbol. There are two different ways one could see the...