Hills Like White Elephants Symbolism Essay

726 Words 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
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Initially, his style seems simple and disconnected. He does not tell us how to interpret the narrative. The deeper I get into the story and think about his depictions of the setting, I begin to ask myself why he chose to describe it as he did. He wanted me to read between the lines in which the deeper meaning of his writing becomes clearer. The line of rails that represents the decision the two must make and the contrasting sides of the valley are imagery full of symbolism. They all contribute to the story 's impact and

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