Hills Like White Elephants By Ernest Hemingway Hills Like White Elephants Hills Like White Elephants, is a short story, written by author Ernest Hemingway. It is a story about a man and a woman waiting at a train station talking about an issue that they never name. I believe this issue is abortion. In this paper I will prove that the girl in the story, who’s name is Jig, finally decides to go ahead and have the baby even though the man, who does not have a name, wants her to have an abortion. It is the end of the story that makes me think this.First of all I will prove that it is an abortion that this couple is discussing. The man says that it is an operation, and an abortion is an operation.
Also, he says that it is just to let the air in, which can be interpreted as meaning that the doctors who are performing the abortion will let the air into the uterus as they remove the fetus (283). The man says that he has known lots of people that have done it. Which suggests that this is a common operation like an abortion.It also shows the moral depravity of the world of these people because so many women are having abortions. Finally, the man says that he wants their relationship to be just like we were before (284).
This suggests that the relationship has changed, as it would with a baby, if the girl has an abortion things will return to the same as before the pregnancy. We don’t know what the couple acted like before the pregnancy, however, we are certainly not meant to like their behavior as they talk about the abortion. Now that I have established that the couple is having an abortion, I will establish the girl’s behavior because this is important for figuring out the way in which she has made up her mind at the end of the story. Early in the story we get a glimpse at Jig’s disgust with her male partner. She looks at the hills in the distance and says They look like white elephants (282). The man responds that he has never seen one after which he drinks more beer (282).
Jig then responds: No, you wouldn’t have (292). The man gets really defensive when she says this, Jig ignores him. The scene is important because it shows that from the very beginning of the story Jig is talking down to the man and does not have much respect for him. The fact that she is not surprised he’s never seen a white elephant. She thinks him to be a narrow-minded pig.
A white elephant is something that is unwanted.And this guy never deals with things that he does not want. He just shuts his mind to them. The girl in this seen seems to recognize this fact. Since we see the girl acting with condescension and sarcasm right in the first scene when the couple talks about white elephants, we need to keep this attitude in mind when we read there subsequent conversations. For example. On page 284 Jig says Then I’ll do it.Because I don’t care about me.
On the same page she also says I’ll do it and then everything will be fine (284). The man responds to this by saying that I don’t want you to do it if you feel that way (284). The reader is left asking, feel what way? Clearly the man has picked up on something that we the readers have not been told by the narrator of the story. The mans mention of feel that way suggests that Jig is not using a sincere tone when she says that she does not care about herself and she will do it to make everything fine.Most likely, drawing on the evidence of the discussion of white elephants, we can conclude that Jig is being sarcastic here.
She does care about herself and she does not think everything will be OK. This is an important point. Closer to the end of the story, on page 286, the man keeps making comments like I don’t care anything about it. As has been seen, the man does care about it and Jig has become upset by his insincere statements. She tries to shut him up by saying please please please please please please stop talking and also I’ll scream (286).
Both her condescending attitude toward the man earlier and her efforts to shut him out at this point in the story suggest that she is totally fed up with his advice and is going to make her own decision. We see that she does this at the end: He picked up the two heavy bags and carried them around the station to the other racks. He looked up the tracks but could not see the train. Coming back, he walked through the barroom, where people waiting for the train were drinking.
He drank an Anis at the bar and looked at the people.They were all waiting reasonably for the train. He went out through the bead curtain.
She was sitting at the table and smiled at him. (286) This is the first time she has smiled or seemed content in the entire story. She was not content when the guy was bullying her into getting an abortion, so we can conclude that her happiness at this point in the story is the result of being left alone for a few minutes so that she could decide what she want to do on her own.Her final comment that There’s nothing wrong with me lets us know that she no longer sees the pregnancy as something wrong (286). She has accepted her pregnancy and plans to keep the baby. In conclusion, Ernest Hemingway’s short story Hills Like White Elephants is about a man and a woman struggling to deal with an unwanted baby. The author, Hemingway, never explicitly tells us what the girl decides to do about the baby, but he does give us enough clues to figure out what she has decided by the end of the story. These clues have to do with the story’s tone like the way that the things that the guy says make us understand Jig’s tone of disapproval.
Overall this story is like an iceberg with most of the substance hiding beneath the surface.English Essays.