HILLS LIKE WHITE ELEPHANTS ANALYSIS
Hills like white elephants, Ernest Hemingway.“Hills Like White Elephants” is a short story by Ernest Hemingway which reports the dialogue of a young couple waiting for a train. This story is developed in a short period of time using two central elements, character and setting. Though the setting is heavily symbolic, and characters are drawn mostly in dialogue, both are strongly evocative of themes.
One of them is abortion. Actually the word “abortion” is nowhere in the story (it is defined only as an “operation”), but the reader can deduce it from the dialogue. The couple is in the middle of making this drastic decision where there are only two choices, two directions, just like the two rail lines that pass by the station. In this tragic circumstance, both of them personalities emerge: the girl is passive and often repeats to her husband (or boyfriend) her doubts, maybe just to convince herself. Moreover she seems to be more worried about his happiness than about hers. On the other hand, the man repeats several times that she isnâ€Ÿt forced to do that, but it is clear his opinion about the question: he wants the girl to do this „operationâ€Ÿ (“ 'Well,' the man said, 'if you don't want to you don't have to. I wouldn't have you do it if you didn't want to. But I know it's perfectly simple.' ”).
HILLS LIKE WHITE ELEPHANTS SUMMARY
In all the story the image of the title recurs. These „white elephantsâ€Ÿ are obviously a symbol , but itâ€Ÿs very difficult to understand what they mean. Her reference to white elephants could be linked to the baby. The girl could see the child as an extraordinary addition to her mundane life of drinking and mindless traveling.
"And we could have everything and every day we make it more impossible" : another strong face of the girlâ€Ÿs personality is her impulse in detaching from reality, totally opposed against her realist minded partner. She wants a full life with him but because of his attitude towards the life within her it is impossible. She knows they can't have everything. They can't have their child. In his deep selfishness, he doesnâ€Ÿt understand her, or maybe he doesnâ€Ÿt succeeded in realizing what a son could means for her.