Fiction_Analysis_Hills_Like_White_Elephants Essay

This essay has a total of 760 words and 4 pages.

Fiction_Analysis_Hills_Like_White_Elephants

WC: 754

Title: Sacred Moments

Close interpretation of the story "Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway leads
the reader to an issue that has plagued society for decades. Understanding of the human
condition is unveiled in the story line, the main setting, and through the character
representation. The main characters in the story are an American man and a female named
Jig. The conflict about abortions is an issue that still faces society today.
Architectural and atmospheric symbolisms are used to set the mood and outline the human
condition. The love bond between the man and Jig is strong; however, the more powerful
bond between Jig and her unborn child is sacred.

Many years ago our society was filled with moral and ethical values, unfortunately they
have all but disappeared. Hemingway captures a moment in history when the tides were
turning from an ethical and ordered society to a less ordered and much less ethical
society. Using his ability to manipulate the readers' imagination, Hemingway creates a
realistic setting that conveys powerful and raw-edged emotions. Through the use of various
landscapes and structures he is able to give the reader insight into the human condition
without actually telling what it is. A good example of this is the hot, dry atmospheric
conditions that set the mood in the story and communicate a sense of tension to the
reader. The expression "They look like white elephants"(23) is a metaphor used to imply
the sacredness of white elephants in certain South American cultures in relation to Jig's
unborn child.

The train station itself is another way the writer uses the setting to portray the human
condition in this story. The station, a common ground or meeting place, is representative
of the relationship between the American and Jig. The tracks leading in and out of the
station describe the emotional pathways each of them takes. The American is almost exactly
opposite to Jig, free spirited and not wanting a change. Jig is love struck and torn. She
has to decide between her love for the American man and her love of her unborn child. The
American is set on convincing Jig that there is no harm in what she is considering. He
tries to calm Jig by telling her "We'll be fine afterwards, just like we were before"(24).
Jig is not convinced. She is not as confident or as willing as the American to rush off
into such a carefree decision. The luggage, covered with hotel labels, plays a significant
part in understanding how Jig feels in regard to the decision that she had to make. She
was obviously torn between remaining reckless and carefree and making a family with the
man she loved. Jig reacts almost visibly in their conversation.

Building a social wall is the means to an end for Jig in the fight to make her decision.
She is willing to do almost anything for the American but is blocked by her motherly
instinct to protect her child. The American tells Jig "We can have everything"(24), "It's
ours"(24), but she knows better. "No, it isn't. And once they take it away, you never get
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