Manipulation of Syntax in Hills Like White Elephants, by Ernest Hemingway

697 Words 3 Pages
Ernest Hemingway has a superbly unique style of writing in Hills Like White Elephants. His short, to the point syntax and sentence style plays a great role in helping readers understand the theme of this short story. The critique M.A.K. Halliday observed, “The story is frequently generated by the repetition of words, clauses, and groups of related words or ethical sets” (Link, Alex). The first set of dialogue that can be pulled from this story is story is short and to the point. The American states, “We can have the whole world.” Jig replies with “No, we can’t” (Hemingway, Ernest). The sentence length is very short, yet there is a hidden meaning behind the small talk. Jig is referring to not having the baby. She can have everything, …show more content…
The American is far to blind by his own pride and selfishness to see the big picture. He uses short, smooth phrases to try to suck Jig into thinking that the operation is worthless. Hemingway does a great job at making the American’s feelings so bitter, just like a modern day pro abortion advocate would.
Hemingway does a great job in vocabulary choice. His words are easy, but have deep, substantial meanings. The vocabulary wasn’t unfamiliar, and it reflected the time period of the modern-day European or American. There was few jargon used. Among the jargon was “Anis del Toro,” which was a drink that was ordered at a bar, and “Dos cervezas,” which were also drinks. “He uses words that leave us at the brink of enlightenment” (Paul Rankin). This dialect has an effective impact on the story mostly affecting the American. It shows that He can speak different languages, and could hint toward intelligent. Jig didn’t know much about the drinks; let alone how to order them in another language. This dialect shows the Americans dominance over Jig.
The descriptive atmosphere that Hemingway displays in this short story has a good connect to the tone. He makes his characters take a direct observation. Jig announces, “The hills look like white elephants” (Hemingway, Ernest) this description is very effective because it is perfectly cue with the tone. The ‘white elephant’ can be symbolized as a gift that no one

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