Abortion in Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants
The story "Hills Like White Elephants" is a conversation between a young woman `Jig' and an American man waiting for a train at a station in Spain. The author never names the topic of their discussion but as their dialogue progresses; it becomes evident that Jig is pregnant. The man wants Jig to abort the unborn child but she is unconvinced and wants to become a mother. Hemingway has brilliantly written the story's dialogue which "captures the feel of a private conversation while at the same time communicating the necessary narrative background" (O'Brien 19). At the end of the story, it is unclear as to what decision has been made; however, Hemingway gives the reader several clues
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She has her thoughts mixed up and couldn't convey her will to the man directly. O'Brien suggests that "The male's rejection of emotional language and his goal oriented vocabulary, and the woman's imprecise, emotional, and relational language" are consistent with the typical male and female (O'Brien 19). Generally, in culture, men are the dominant group, and women have been suppressed for a long time. Smiley argues that "because women's language in general, and Jig's in particular, focuses on emotions rather than facts and objects, it is judged more ambiguous, less direct and more trivial than masculine speech" (Smiley 3). Jig's language lacks self-confidence and authority, and the goal of her language is the man's approval. Smiley aptly quotes that, "ever since she could pick up Seventeen, a woman has been told to interest and soothe the ego of a man by asking lot of questions and allowing him to parade his knowledge"(4). Critics have proposed several ways in which the story could end, some argue that Jig would have the abortion to please her man; while others argue that she would leave the man after she aborts the child (Hannum 53), but there is sufficient evidence that she has decided to keep the child and leave the man.
In the opening paragraph of the story, the author precisely describes the setting of the