Themes And Symbolism In Ernest Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants

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In 1927, Ernest Hemingway crafted the short fiction story, “Hills Like White Elephants”. Since then, critiques and readers have addressed the literary elements, symbolism, and themes associated in this short story. “Hills Like White Elephants” includes literary elements important to the story and symbols, as well as a major theme, feminism.
A man and a woman, mentioned as Jig later in the story (Hemingway 100), are seated outside of a building waiting on the train to come in a Spanish town (Hemingway 99). The setting plays a crucial role in the story. The two are having a serious conversation, but are in a neutral, every-day setting. Jig and her significant other are seated across from one another drinking in a casual atmosphere, while waiting on the train to
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The licorice symbolizes something, as well as the white elephants and the drinks. Lewis Weeks states, “Although the subject, setting, point of view, characterization, dialog, irony, and compression all make “Hills Like White Elephants one of Hemingway’s most brilliant short stories, the symbolism implicit in the title and developed in the story contributes more than any other single quality to the powerful impact.” (Weeks 75). After Jig mentions the hills looking like white elephants, she also mentions everything tastes like licorice (Hemingway 100). In Weeks notes, he mentions these two assumptions to symbolize joy (the elephants) and sorrow (the black licorice). Jig is trying to stay positive and wants everything back to normal. While the father of the child is pressuring her, which is turn changes Jig’s mood. Weeks also points out another very interesting symbolic use of the elephant. Weeks mentions the story is about an unwanted pregnancy. Often at sales, people will sale white elephants for cheap because they are unwanted. The father of this child makes it very clear he/she is unwanted. Resulting in the white elephant also symbolizing the child (Weeks

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