In: English and Literature

Submitted By coleelawson
Words 1701
Pages 7
Can You See The White Elephant? Have you ever been forced to make a life altering decision? A decision where you much choose one option or the other? The short story Hills Like White Elephants depict a situation in which many, if not all readers can relate to at one point in their lives. The author Ernest Hemingway describes this scenario with a young couple who are at a crossroads in their life, and they are unsure of the future. The young couple are forced, but shying away from the rather large “white elephant in the room”, deciding to go through with having a child or an abortion. The theme in Hills Like White Elephants is expressed using typical thematic literary elements. Hemingway uses elements such as character, setting, conflict, and irony all to express the short story theme and symbolism. All of these elements help to develop the theme of decision making and sacrifice. The reader gets very little background on the relationship of the young couple but at the same time receives insight into the norms of the relationship between the “American man” and Jig the “girl” who is pregnant. Jig is represented as a young dependent girl, in article Tim O’brian writes, “Even the nickname "Jig" develops this central conflict. The name suggests a dance, the music for the dance, and a joke, for instance, and thereby exposes the man's ultimately condescending attitude toward her: she is entertainment, material for an interlude, perhaps. “Hemingway uses the character as an element to his short story as well. He uses the characters to depict different stages of life, even though the couple does not agree on the stage they will enter next. In other words “the American man” is stuck in his ways while Jig is prepared to change her ways because that is what the situation call for. Hemingway begins showing the characters true colors from the beginning paragraph of the short…...

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