The Theme Of Abortion In Ernest Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants

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As a writer of the Lost Generation, Ernest Hemingway wrote about many difficult human realities. In fact, throughout Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants, the author illustrates the theme of abortion despite its setting in 1927. Although it does not blatantly say what exactly the circumstance is that the two characters face, the use of a sense of vagueness, symbolism, characterization, and uncertain mood helps to explain the looming issue and their indecisiveness towards it.
Noting that this short story was written in 1927, the sense of vagueness toward the topic of abortion would seem proper as it was rarely ever discussed amongst people and definitely never discussed in public. Due to this common etiquette the issue at hand, which is assumed to be an unwanted pregnancy, would have never been blatantly discussed in the train station. In fact, the readers of today must keep in
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Before even opening the short story the readers can sense the enormity but hushed tone of the issue through the use of symbolism in the title, Hills Like White Elephants. The “hills” depict the overwhelming decision to abort the unwanted child and go on with life as it was before. At the same time, the “white elephants” symbolize the unspoken subject of abortion, a weighty subject the characters will discuss without ever naming the topic. Furthermore, throughout the story other symbolism is used such as “licorice,” which is meant to paint the picture of the sweet act of sex but the bitter taste of the consequences of pregnancy. At the conclusion of this short prose the complicated decision is emphasized by the symbolic lack of words in Jig’s simple statement of “I am fine.” This statement leads the readers to believe Jig has made a decision but maintains the vagueness by never letting the readers know the

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