Short Story Interpretation of Hills Like White Elephants

Short Story Interpretation of Hills Like White Elephants

  • Submitted By: Marthe
  • Date Submitted: 03/18/2009 5:25 AM
  • Category: Book Reports
  • Words: 1055
  • Page: 5
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Hills Like White Elephants

Ernest Hemingway was born in Illinois in 1891. He participated in World War I, and the time he spent there provided much material for his writing. He has written many well-known books, for example “A Farewell to Arms” and “The Sun Also Rises”. The short story “Hills Like White Elephants” appeared first in the collection “Men Without Women” in 1928. He won the Nobel Price for Literature in 1953, and died in 1961.

I think it happens after WWI, but before WWII, maybe in the late 20's/early 30's. The story takes place in Spain on a train station by the Ebro (a river). There are two train tracks, one on either side of the station. On one side, there is wasteland, while on the other side there is a river (The Ebro) and trees, which means it is fertile land.

The man in the story is a lot older than the girl. He tries to make the girl take an abortion, and seems very secure about his arguments. He tries to tell her that it is a simple operation and afterwards they will be happy again. He also says things that makes me believe he doesn't care about the baby.

The girl on the other hand, is very insecure. She is not convinced by the man's arguments, and struggles to decide what she wants.

Both the girl and the man are indirect characters. All the information we get about them is told through their actions and their conversations. We don't get to know what they are thinking. Since he is referred to as "the man" and she is referred to as "the girl" there is probably an age difference and the girl seems to be subordinate to him.

The story starts with two people sitting in the shade outside the railway station, the American and a girl whom he calls Jig. While waiting for the train to Madrid they order drinks to cool down on this hot day. While drinking, they discuss whether or not the girl should have the operation. It is never said what kind of operation is is, but after reading sentences like...

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