Hills Like White Elephants Symbolism Analysis

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Once a woman is married, she is considered the property of her husband’s or the man that claims her. She is not allowed to be independent or even make decisions on her own accord. A woman has to do, in a relationship, as the man tells her to do. Sometimes a woman realizes she has to change in order to live with her true self instead of someone else governing her life. In many cases, a woman gets a taste of what freedom could be like without the burden of being told what to do or what not to do. Although in Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills like White Elephants” and Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour” (rpt. in Greg Johnson and Thomas R. Arp, Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, 12th ed. [Boston Wadsworth, 2015] 275 and 532) the women do …show more content…
In “Hills like White Elephants”, the title is the major symbol within the story. “They look like white elephants,” Jig states as she looks off at the hills (275). These hills symbolize multiple things: the “white elephant” is something that a person cannot sell nor has any use. In this case, the white elephant will be her pregnancy. She has no use to a baby because the American does not want to have a baby because it will be a hindrance as they try to live the carefree lives that they have now, and she could not keep the baby without being a married woman. Also the hills symbolize her life; she can be barren and dry like the white hills or lush and fertile like the beautiful green hills that surround them. Jig even retracts the statement made about the hills being like white elephants, “They’re lovely hills…They don’t really look like white elephants,” she expresses, showing that maybe having a baby is not so bad at all (276). Another symbol in this story is the train tracks; they symbolize the gap and divide between Jig and the American. They are at a literal crossroads about the baby and their future. In “Story of an Hour”, the heart trouble is a solid symbol within this short story. The heart trouble is both physical and figurative because it represents her doubt towards her matrimony and gloom with her lack of independence. When her husband’s death was announced it would be expected for her heart troubles to surface, but instead she subtly grew excited for the days to come in her young, and now free life. At the end of the story, the doctors believed that she died from overpowering joy because of her husband’s appearance, “When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease—of joy that kills,” but she actually died from the rapid loss of her short-lived freedom (534). Another strong symbol is the open window; Louise gazes out this window after learning of her

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