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Hills Like White Elephants Essay

1117 words - 5 pages

Maturing to her true IdentityIn his short story "Hills Like White Elephants", Ernest Hemingway creates a story of a couple of an unnamed protagonist called the Girl and antagonist affectionately name The American. The story is set in the Roaring 20's, during the 1920's everyone in the Western world was enjoying a life of luxury and excess of material goods. The characters are a part of what was known as the "The Lost Generation", who were the disenchanted group of young people who were caught between the two world wars. Many young people were traveling around Europe drinking, partying, and having several sexual partners. The majority of the story is dialogue that is discussing what one could ...view middle of the document...

It is interesting that he says that abortion is natural when in reality a 1920's abortion was dangerous, and there is nothing natural about the procedure. He calls her a pet name "Jig" and it could imply that her only importance to him is the fact that she is his party dancing girl and she could never mean more to him. He tells the girl, "I will go with you and I'll stay with you all the time" (790), he used this statement as a device to keep the girl believing that he has her best interest at heart; when in reality he was self-centered and wanted to keep his party life.The female character in the story is known as a girl, calling her "girl" suggests that she is younger than the American. Also, it shows that she should be seen as having less maturity and intelligence than her male companion. She allows him to take control over her life; when discussing the abortion she tells him "I don't care about me. And I'll do it and then everything will be fine" (791). She shows a strong consideration for him and for what wants her to do. Another way he controls her is by his ability to speak other languages. She cannot speak Spanish, so it isolates her from her surroundings and making her solely dependent on him. She mentions that the hills "look like white elephants" (789), which brings an elephant in the room. The statement elephant in the room is a euphemism to describe something that is painfully obvious that no one wants to discuss. The overall conflict in the story is keeping the unborn baby. The baby as the American puts it, "That's the only thing that bothers us. It's the only thing that makes us unhappy" (790), he perceives it as what is wrong with relationship. Another elephant in the room could be the fact that their relationship is failing. She states, "That's all we...

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