Essay about Hills Like White Elephants By Ernest Hemingway

726 Words Mar 10th, 2016 3 Pages
In the short story “Hills like White Elephants,” author Ernest Hemingway used the setting of the story to emphasize the tension filled decision facing a couple who disagrees about whether or not the character should have an abortion. However, since the word abortion is not used anywhere in the story, it is mainly understood through Hemingway’s use of setting symbolism and imagery. The story’s two main characters, a young lady named Jig and her older American spouse, open the story. The two are sitting at a train station in Spain, sipping on drinks and having a serious conversation about whether Jig should abort their child. Jig opposes the plan, although she refuses to communicate openly and say so. On the other hand, the American man sees the abortion as the solution to their problems and tries to convince Jig that this is the right thing for her to do. Hemingway stresses the serious nature of this life altering decision through two key symbols.
The first key symbol is the story’s setting. “The hills across the valley of the Ebro were long and white. On this side there was no shade and no trees and the station was between two lines of rails in the sun” (Hemingway 475). The two rail lines that pass by the station represents the two choices and two directions the couple have to decide. Jig says, “Then I’ll do it. Because I don’t care about me” (Hemingway 477). Jig cares about the man to the point where she as a character acts naive. Jig sees the long, white hills, she says…

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