Analysis Of Timothy D. O ' Brien 's ' Hills Like White Elephants '

764 Words Mar 4th, 2015 4 Pages
In Timothy D. O’Brien’s criticism of Ernest Hemmingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants,” he concentrates mainly on how allusion and word play contribute to the central conflict of the short story. The story mainly consists of the dialogue between the American and Jig. The choice of the nickname Jig, along with the repetition of certain words such as “know” and “fine” stood out to me while reading the story. In addition to the word choice, the train never comes at the end of the story, leaving it open for interpretation. The O’Brian discusses these word choices in “Allusion, Word-Play, and the Central Conflict in Hemingway’s ‘Hills Like White Elephants’” used by Hemingway in “Hills Like White Elephants” play a huge part in the overall conflict of the story. Though I agree with this, I would add that the man asserts his dominance over the girl by dismissing her insight about the abortion, bringing light to the conflict of man versus man.
The man’s dominance is assured through the way he treats the girl throughout the story. Jig is indecisive because she is conflicted between pleasing the man and doing what she wants to or needs to do. That may be one reason why she is referred to as “the girl,” because she is immature and cannot make the decision on her own. Even more, the man calls her by a nickname that does not seem to have any romantic meaning. According to O’Brien, the man calling her by the nickname Jig suggests a negative connotation. He talks down to her by saying, “It’s…

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