Hills Like White Elephants by Shmoop
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Hills Like White Elephants
All rights reserved. Though the exact location of the train station isn't given, we know that it's somewhere hilly with an idyllic Ebro view between Madrid and Barcelona. The third-person narrator takes the fly-on-the-wall technique to extremes in "Hills Like White Elephants. A man and a woman drink beers while waiting for a train to arrive. They bicker passive aggressively. The end.
Ernest Hemingway 's "Hills Like White Elephants," tells the story of a man and a woman drinking beer and anise liqueur while they wait at a train station in Spain. The man is attempting to convince the woman to get an abortion , but the woman is ambivalent about it. The story takes its tension from their terse, barbed dialogue. First published in , the story exemplifies Hemingway's Iceberg Theory of writing and is widely anthologized today. Also known as the "theory of omission," Hemingway's Iceberg Theory contends that the words on the page should be merely a small part of the whole story. The words on the page are the proverbial "tip of the iceberg," and a writer should use as few words as possible in order to indicate the larger, unwritten story that resides below the surface.
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Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants," tells the story of a man and a woman drinking beer and anise liqueur while they wait at a train.
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Hills Like White Elephants
It was first published in August , in the literary magazine transition , then later in the short story collection Men Without Women. The story focuses on a conversation between an American man and a young woman, described as a "girl," at a Spanish train station while waiting for a train to Madrid. The girl compares the nearby hills to white elephants. The pair indirectly discuss an "operation" that the man wants the girl to have, which is implied to be an abortion. There is little context or background information about the characters. Readers must come to their own conclusions based on the dialogue.
In the early s, an American man and a girl, probably nineteen or twenty years old, are waiting at a Spanish railway station for the express train that will take them to Madrid. They drink beer as well as two licorice-tasting anis drinks, and finally more beer, sitting in the hot shade and discussing what the American man says will be "a simple operation" for the girl. The tension between the two is almost as sizzling as the heat of the Spanish sun. The man, while urging the girl to have the operation, says again and again that he really doesn't want her to do it if she really doesn't want to. However, he clearly is insisting that she do so.
Ernest Hemingway was a towering figure in 20th century American literature, known mostly for his larger-than-life persona and for his simple, declarative style of writing. The latter arguably won him a Nobel Prize, and also influenced possibly an entire generation of aspiring writers who came after him. It is a story about a man and a woman waiting at a train station talking about an issue that they never name. I believe this issue is abortion. In this paper I will prove that the girl in the story, who's name is Jig, finally decides to go ahead and have the baby even though the man, who does not have a name, wants her to have an abortion. It is the end of the story that makes me think. The third person narrator in this story gives the reader the events pieced together, told afterward, and translated to English.