The short stories “A & P,” “A Rose for Emily,” and “Hills Like White Elephants” are like puzzle pieces because they are all hooked together by common similarities. “A & P” by John Updike, “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner, and “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway may be different in some aspects, but they are very similar to one another. The similarities between the three short stories are themes, symbolism, inner conflict, and tragic occurrences.
By reading a short story, you learn valuable messages that you can use in life. The three short stories share a common theme of the mystery of other minds. In “A & P,” the protagonist Sammy used very sexist language when he says, “With the straps pushed off, there was nothing
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Even though the bathing suits cover their bodies, the suits still attract attention. In “A Rose for Emily,” the townspeople could not take the smell coming from Emily’s house any longer so, “They broke open the cellar door and sprinkled lime there, and in all the outbuildings” (Faulkner 92). The lime is a symbol of an attempt to hide something. The lime covered the smell coming from Emily’s house, which later readers found out was the corpus of Homer Barron. In “Hills Like White Elephants,” the bamboo bead curtain is a symbol for all the issue that Jig and the American is facing because it represents the separation between them. When the American says, “It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig,” it shows that he wants her to get an abortion. When Jig says, “They don’t really look like white elephants,” it shows that Jig is leaning towards not having an abortion. This subject shows the separation between them because they have different opinions about the subject. The curtain not only represents the separation but it also covers the doorway to get into the bar.
Inner conflict is prevalent in all of the protagonists in each short story. In “A & P,” Sammy deals with inner conflict when he has to make the decision whether to keep his job. Sammy did not like the way Lengel treated the three girls so Sammy says, “I quit,” hoping he the girls would see him as a hero and he could hook up with him (Updike