Hills Like White Elephants By Ernest Hemingwya Essay

This essay has a total of 1004 words and 4 pages.

Hills Like White Elephants By Ernest Hemingwya


In "Hills Like White Elephants" Ernest Hemingway relies on symbolism to convey the theme
of abortion. The symbolic material objects, as well as the strong symbolic characters, aid
the reader's understanding of the underlying theme.


The material objects that Hemingway uses to convey the theme are beer, the good and bad
hillsides, and a railroad station between two tracks. The beer represents the couple's,
"the American" and "the girl's", usual routine activity they do together. This bothers the
girl because "that's all [they] do … look at things and try new drinks." This shows that
the girl is tired of doing the same thing and wants to do something different, like having
a baby and a family, instead of fooling around all the time. She wants to stop being a
girl and become a woman. Hemingway then presents the reader with two contrasting hills.
One hill on one side of the station is dull, desolate, and barren; "it had no shade and no
trees", very desert like. However, the other hill on the other side of the station is
beautiful, plentiful in nature, and had "fields of grain and tress along the banks of the
Ebro River." Also on each side of the station where each hill is, there is a train track.
These objects are symbolic devices prepare the reader in realizing that the characters are
in a place of decision. The railroad station is a place of decision where one must decide
to go one way or the other. The tracks symbolize either decision that the girl must make.
By the looks of the environment around each track, it is clear what kind of destination
each track leads to. This proves that the girl must decide whether she wants her body and
life to become barren and desolate or plentiful and beautiful. If she chooses abortion,
then, of course, she will choose the track with the desolate hills because her body will
become a barren desert where no life will abide. On the other hand if she wants to have
the baby, she will choose the track which is surrounded by the plentiful and beautiful
hills, because her body will be a genisis. Either way, this clearly conveys the theme of
abortion by showing that the girl must make a life or death decision.


Along with symbolic objects, three symbolic characters further develop the theme of
abortion. The three characters are "the girl", "the American", and "the woman." The girl
symbolizes youth, innocence, and naïvety. She is ignorant to her final decision of having
an abortion, because she is so young and is still in the prime of her life, experiencing
new things everyday. Hemingway uses her to show a young pregnant girl trying to decide if
having the baby will ruin her youthfulness, ruin her relationship, or in contrast make her
a woman. She is getting tired of the same old routine, mentioned before, so her choice is
to do something different, to have the baby, to become a woman, and leave her childish
ways for good. The only thing that stands in her way of her decision is "the American."
The American symbolizes an individualist who wants to do things his way. Usually Americans
have a laid back attitude and don't want to mess with anything complicated, as does the
American in this story. The American supports the theme by opposing the girl and saying
that the baby "is the only thing that bothers" them. He talks of a certain simple
Continues for 2 more pages >>




  • Ernest Hemmingway
    Ernest Hemmingway Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. His father was the owner of a prosperous real estate business. His father, Dr. Hemingway, imparted to Ernest the importance of appearances, especially in public. Dr. Hemingway invented surgical forceps for which he would not accept money. He believed that one should not profit from something important for the good of mankind. Ernest\'s father, a man of high ideals, was very strict and censored the books h
  • Analysis of Hills Like White Elephants
    Analysis of Hills Like White Elephants ANALYSIS OF HILLS LIKE WHITE ELEPHANTS David Kenison English 301 - 01 Stéphanie Zuk September 14th 2000 Who is the boss? Society is pressuring people so much to succeed in life and to become someone they can not be, that people act in any way they can to reach this goal. Often, they use power and domination to show that they are important and can influence the world. Hills Like White Elephants reflects the power of men over women. The plot, characterization
  • Ernest hemingway
    ernest hemingway Ernest Hemingway Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. His father was the owner of a prosperous real estate business. His father, Dr. Hemingway, imparted to Ernest the importance of appearances, especially in public. Dr. Hemingway invented surgical forceps for which he would not accept money. He believed that one should not profit from something important for the good of mankind. Ernest\'s father, a man of high ideals, was very strict and cens
  • Ernest hemingway
    ernest hemingway Ernest Hemingway Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. His father was the owner of a prosperous real estate business. His father, Dr. Hemingway, imparted to Ernest the importance of appearances, especially in public. Dr. Hemingway invented surgical forceps for which he would not accept money. He believed that one should not profit from something important for the good of mankind. Ernest\'s father, a man of high ideals, was very strict and cens
  • Hemingway1
    Hemingway1 Post a comment on this essay Read other users\' comments Print this essay New Essays | Popular Essays | Submit an Essay Index: Literature: Hemingway Earnest Hemingway\'s Works Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. His father was the owner of a prosperous real estate business. His father, Dr. Hemingway, imparted to Ernest the importance of appearances, especially in public. Dr. Hemingway invented surgical forceps for which he would not accept money.
  • Hemingway1
    Hemingway1 Post a comment on this essay Read other users\' comments Print this essay New Essays | Popular Essays | Submit an Essay Index: Literature: Hemingway Earnest Hemingway\'s Works Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. His father was the owner of a prosperous real estate business. His father, Dr. Hemingway, imparted to Ernest the importance of appearances, especially in public. Dr. Hemingway invented surgical forceps for which he would not accept money.
  • Hemingways Man
    Hemingways Man Madam Adam: Hemingways exploration of Man in The Sun Also Rises Its really an awfully simple operation, Jig, the man said. Its not really an operation at all. Much of Hemingways body of work grows from issues of male morality. In his concise, Hills Like White Elephants, a couple discusses getting an abortion while waiting for a train in a Spanish rail station bar. Years before Roe v. Wade, before the issues of abortion rights, mothers rights, and unborn childrens right
  • Hemmingway
    hemmingway Jan-Erik Saue English 352, Short Stories TTH 12:15 Final paper ERNEST HEMINGWAY (1899-1961) "You really ought to read more books - you know, those things that look like blocks but come apart on one side." F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1927 This is a paper about Ernest Hemingway\'s short stories The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1938?), Hills like White Elephants (1927), Cat in the Rain (1923?), The Killers (1927) and A Clean Well-Lighted Place (1933). However, to understand Hemingway and his short sto
  • Hemmingway
    hemmingway Jan-Erik Saue English 352, Short Stories TTH 12:15 Final paper ERNEST HEMINGWAY (1899-1961) "You really ought to read more books - you know, those things that look like blocks but come apart on one side." F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1927 This is a paper about Ernest Hemingway\'s short stories The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1938?), Hills like White Elephants (1927), Cat in the Rain (1923?), The Killers (1927) and A Clean Well-Lighted Place (1933). However, to understand Hemingway and his short sto
  • Hemmingways Hills like White Elephants
    Hemmingways Hills like White Elephants Setting is important to every story, but the setting used by Hemmingway in Hills Like White Elephants adds so much to the meaning of the story, providing an interesting read. His use of the setting to convey the idea of fertility and barrenness helps to generate an understanding of what the story is about, even though he never comes right out and says Its about abortion. The language used at the beginning of the story is simple and straightforward, tel
  • Hills Like White elephantE
    Hills Like White elephantE Hills Like White Elephants, written by Ernest Hemingway, is a story that takes place in Spain while a man and woman wait for a train. The story is set up as a dialogue between the two, in which the man is trying to convince the woman to do something she is hesitant in doing. Through out the story, Hemingway uses metaphors to express the characters’ opinions and feelings. Hills Like White Elephants displays the differences in the way a man and a woman view pregnancy and
  • Hills like white elephants
    hills like white elephants The Symbolism in Hills Like White Elephants Ernest Hemingway is an incredible writer, known for what he leaves out of stories not for what he tells. His main emphasis in Hills Like White Elephants seems to be symbolism. Symbolism is the art or practice of using symbols, especially by investing things with a symbolic meaning or by expressing the invisible or intangible by means of visible or sensuous representations (WWWebster Dictionary). He uses this technique to emph
  • Hills like white elephants
    hills like white elephants The Symbolism in Hills Like White Elephants Ernest Hemingway is an incredible writer, known for what he leaves out of stories not for what he tells. His main emphasis in Hills Like White Elephants seems to be symbolism. Symbolism is the art or practice of using symbols, especially by investing things with a symbolic meaning or by expressing the invisible or intangible by means of visible or sensuous representations (WWWebster Dictionary). He uses this technique to emph
  • None Provided13
    None Provided13 Sympathetic Hemingway The most striking feature of the short story “Hills Like White Elephants” is the manner in which it is told. It is not typical in the classical sense with an introduction, a development of the story and an end. Instead, we get some time in the life of two people, as if it were just a piece of a film where we have a lot to deduce. This tale does not get everything done for the reader; we only see the surface of what is going on. It leaves an open end because
  • Alexander the Great
    Alexander the Great Introduction Alexander III, more commonly known as Alexander the Great, was one of the greatest military leaders in world history. He was born in Pella, Macedonia, then a Greek nation. The exact date of his birth is uncertain, but was probably either July 20 or 26, 356 B.C. Alexander was considered a child from his birth until 341 B.C. His princehood lasted from 340 to 336 B.C. In 336 B.C. Philip II, his father, was assassinated, thus making Alexander king. Alexander became a
  • Hemingway
    hemingway Ernest Hemmingway Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. His father was the owner of a prosperous real estate business. His father, Dr. Hemingway, imparted to Ernest the importance of appearances, especially in public. Dr. Hemingway invented surgical forceps for which he would not accept money. He believed that one should not profit from something important for the good of mankind. Ernest\'s father, a man of high ideals, was very strict and censored t
  • Hemingway 2
    hemingway 2 Jan-Erik Saue English 352, Short Stories TTH 12:15 Final paper ERNEST HEMINGWAY (1899-1961) "You really ought to read more books - you know, those things that look like blocks but come apart on one side." F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1927 This is a paper about Ernest Hemingway\'s short stories The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1938?), Hills like White Elephants (1927), Cat in the Rain (1923?), The Killers (1927) and A Clean Well-Lighted Place (1933). However, to understand Hemingway and his short st
  • Hemingway
    hemingway Ernest Hemmingway Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. His father was the owner of a prosperous real estate business. His father, Dr. Hemingway, imparted to Ernest the importance of appearances, especially in public. Dr. Hemingway invented surgical forceps for which he would not accept money. He believed that one should not profit from something important for the good of mankind. Ernest\'s father, a man of high ideals, was very strict and censored t
  • Hills Like White Elephants
    Hills Like White Elephants Hills Like White ElephantsHills Like White Elephants” is a story that portrayed many symbols. White Elephants have always been gifts that are unwanted. Hemingway in this selection uses these white elephants to describe abortion through one couples eyes. He uses different items and views that happen around this couple to symbolically describe abortion. People who have white elephant parties, wrap gifts that they do not want in their house anymore and give them away as
  • Hills like White Elephants1
    Hills like White Elephants1 “Hills Like White Elephants”: An Endeavor to Justify Earnest Hemmingway is one of the greatest American authors to ever live. He displays remarkable wit and depth in the short story “Hills Like White Elephants.” Not only does this story incorporate a sophisticated plot, it also conveys a different message to everyone who reads it. To one reader it may appear as though the story is about a couple’s struggle to decide to have an abortion. Yet, to another person the stor
  • Hills Like White Elephants
    Hills Like White Elephants Hills Like White ElephantsHills Like White Elephants” is a story that portrayed many symbols. White Elephants have always been gifts that are unwanted. Hemingway in this selection uses these white elephants to describe abortion through one couples eyes. He uses different items and views that happen around this couple to symbolically describe abortion. People who have white elephant parties, wrap gifts that they do not want in their house anymore and give them away as
  • Hills like White Elephants1
    Hills like White Elephants1 “Hills Like White Elephants”: An Endeavor to Justify Earnest Hemmingway is one of the greatest American authors to ever live. He displays remarkable wit and depth in the short story “Hills Like White Elephants.” Not only does this story incorporate a sophisticated plot, it also conveys a different message to everyone who reads it. To one reader it may appear as though the story is about a couple’s struggle to decide to have an abortion. Yet, to another person the stor
  • The Writings of Ernest Hemingway
    The Writings of Ernest Hemingway The Writings of Ernest Hemingway Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. His father was the owner of a prosperous real estate business. Dr. Hemingway invented surgical forceps for which he would not accept money. He believed that one should not profit from something important for the good of mankind. Ernest\'s father, a man of high ideals, was very strict and censored the books he allowed his children to read. Grace Hall Hemingwa
  • Hemmingway
    hemmingway Research Paper The central theme in Hemingway\'s work is heroism. Most of his novels are not primarily studies of death or simply researches into the lost generation. They are essentially the portrayal of a hero, the man who by force of some extraordinary quality sets the standards for those around him. Hemingway has always kept four subjects in his mind when writing. These four subjects which have always fascinated Hemingway are fishing, hunting, bullfighting, and war, in which all h
  • Perception
    Perception Perception INTRODUCTION Perception is defined as a process by which organisms interpret and organize sensation to produce a meaningful experience of the world. Sensation usually refers to the immediate, relatively unprocessed result of stimulation of sensory receptors in the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, or skin. Perception, on the other hand, better describes one\'s ultimate experience of the world and typically involves further processing of sensory input. In practice, sensation and per
  • A farewell to arms
    A farewell to arms Ernest Hemingway Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. His father was the owner of a prosperous real estate business. His father, Dr. Hemingway, imparted to Ernest the importance of appearances, especially in public. Dr. Hemingway invented surgical forceps for which he would not accept money. He believed that one should not profit from something important for the good of mankind. Ernest\'s father, a man of high ideals, was very strict and ce
  • Male Chauvinism in Updike and Hemingway
    Male Chauvinism in Updike and Hemingway John Updike and Ernest Hemingway struggle to portray women in a positive light; because of this, Updikes and Hemingways readers come away from their stories with the effect that the lead male characters are chauvinistic, which can be defined as prejudiced devotion to any attitude or cause (Chauvinism 228). In John Updikes A & P, three girls shop in the local A & P and are described head to toe by the nineteen year old cashier, Sammy: The one tha
  • A Literary Criticism of Hills Like White Elephants
    A Literary Criticism of Hills Like White Elephants A Literary Criticism of "Hills Like White Elephants" I recently read the short story, "Hills Like White Elephants". Initially, I found it confusing and hard to understand. I hope to clarify the story by summarizing it, and explain the symbolism used. The story is set in a bar beside a train station. A couple sits together at a table discussing something that is unknown to the reader. The couple is enjoying a beer while awaiting their train. The
  • 8220Hills Like White Elephants8221
    8220Hills Like White Elephants8221 “Hills Like White Elephants” By Ernest Hemmingway In many works of literature the reader finds that a story is difficult to understand until he/she is approaching the end. At that time the reader discovers either proof of his/her assumptions or evidence that cancels out original opinions. Such is true with Ernest Hemmingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants.” In the beginning of the story, the reader is presented with a conversation between two people that is very
  • A man and a woman
    a man and a woman The Tragedy of Love The tragic ending of love seems to occur when relationships experience problems and break apart simply because of some sort of outside complication. If a man and a woman were isolated from the harsh realities of the outside world, their relationship would probably last longer and be less engulfed in conflict. Although relationships do not always end when there is some sort of conflict, a strain is put on the love the two have for each other. It is most defi
  • Analysis of Hills Like White Elephants
    Analysis of Hills Like White ElephantsHills Like White Elephants”, by Ernest Hemingway, is a short story published in 1927 that takes place in a train station in Spain with a man and a woman discussing an operation. Most of the story is simply dialogue between the two characters, the American and Jig. This couple is at a critical point in their lives when they must decide whether or not to have an abortion. Certain themes arise from this story such as choices and consequences, doubt and ambig
  • Ernest Hemingway
    Ernest Hemingway Ernest Hemingway uses symbolism to help the reader gain a better perspective of how the protagonist feels in his story. Symbolism occurs when the author uses one thing to represent another. This helps to give the reader a better idea of the situation or feeling in a given scene. There are several types of symbolism utilized by authors. One type is conventional symbolism. Conventional symbolism is common to the area where the story takes place. While another type is personal whi
  • Ernest Hemingway1
    Ernest Hemingway1 "Hills Like White Elephants" "Hills Like White Elephants," is a short story, written by author Ernest Hemingway. 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 stor
  • Ernest Hemingway
    Ernest Hemingway Ernest Hemingway uses symbolism to help the reader gain a better perspective of how the protagonist feels in his story. Symbolism occurs when the author uses one thing to represent another. This helps to give the reader a better idea of the situation or feeling in a given scene. There are several types of symbolism utilized by authors. One type is conventional symbolism. Conventional symbolism is common to the area where the story takes place. While another type is personal whi
  • Ernest Hemingway2
    Ernest Hemingway2 Ernest Hemmingway Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. His father was the owner of a prosperous real estate business. His father, Dr. Hemingway, imparted to Ernest the importance of appearances, especially in public. Dr. Hemingway invented surgical forceps for which he would not accept money. He believed that one should not profit from something important for the good of mankind. Ernest\'s father, a man of high ideals, was very strict and c
  • Hills like white elephants
    Hills like white elephants The Latin saying, mutatis mutandi, translates into "everything affects everything else," and this especially applies to the characterization used in Ernest Hemingway’s "Hills Like White Elephants." Through close examination, it is evident that the character of Jig is revealed not only through her own actions, but also through the contrasting descriptions of her surrounding environment and her subtle mannerisms. By strategically scattering these faint clues to Jig’s pe
  • Hills like white elephants1
    Hills like white elephants1 The Symbolism in Hills Like White Elephants Ernest Hemingway is an incredible writer, known for what he leaves out of stories not for what he tells. His main emphasis in Hills Like White Elephants seems to be symbolism. Symbolism is the art or practice of using symbols, especially by investing things with a symbolic meaning or by expressing the invisible or intangible by means of visible or sensuous representations (WWWebster Dictionary). He uses this technique to em
  • Hills like white elephants
    Hills like white elephants The Latin saying, mutatis mutandi, translates into "everything affects everything else," and this especially applies to the characterization used in Ernest Hemingway’s "Hills Like White Elephants." Through close examination, it is evident that the character of Jig is revealed not only through her own actions, but also through the contrasting descriptions of her surrounding environment and her subtle mannerisms. By strategically scattering these faint clues to Jig’s pe
  • Hills like white elephants1
    Hills like white elephants1 The Symbolism in Hills Like White Elephants Ernest Hemingway is an incredible writer, known for what he leaves out of stories not for what he tells. His main emphasis in Hills Like White Elephants seems to be symbolism. Symbolism is the art or practice of using symbols, especially by investing things with a symbolic meaning or by expressing the invisible or intangible by means of visible or sensuous representations (WWWebster Dictionary). He uses this technique to em
  • Hills like white elephants
    Hills like white elephants The Latin saying, mutatis mutandi, translates into "everything affects everything else," and this especially applies to the characterization used in Ernest Hemingway’s "Hills Like White Elephants." Through close examination, it is evident that the character of Jig is revealed not only through her own actions, but also through the contrasting descriptions of her surrounding environment and her subtle mannerisms. By strategically scattering these faint clues to Jig’s pe
  • Hills like white elephants
    Hills like white elephants The Latin saying, mutatis mutandi, translates into "everything affects everything else," and this especially applies to the characterization used in Ernest Hemingway’s "Hills Like White Elephants." Through close examination, it is evident that the character of Jig is revealed not only through her own actions, but also through the contrasting descriptions of her surrounding environment and her subtle mannerisms. By strategically scattering these faint clues to Jig’s pe
  • None Provided29
    None Provided29 The Symbolism in Hills Like White Elephants Ernest Hemingway is an incredible writer, known for what he leaves out of stories not for what he tells. His main emphasis in Hills Like White Elephants seems to be symbolism. Symbolism is the art or practice of using symbols, especially by investing things with a symbolic meaning or by expressing the invisible or intangible by means of visible or sensuous representations (WWWebster Dictionary). He uses this technique to emphasize the
  • Questions on Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest
    Questions on Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway Reading: Hills Like White Elephants/Ernest Hemingway 1. What are they talking about? (Evidence&) The man and the girl are talking about getting an abortion. Evidence: the white elephants White elephants are sacred in some countries, but usually a white elephant is not considered to be something good&the idea is that it would be really nice to own a white elephant, but once you get one it becomes clear that it has no real value and co
  • Underlying Meanings In Hills Like White Elephants
    Underlying Meanings In Hills Like White Elephants Underlying Meanings Within "Hills Like White Elephants" Though "Hills Like White Elephant," by Earnest Hemingway, is mostly composed of a dialog between two people, the reader may learn a great deal about the characters and the meaning of the story indirectly through symbolism, word clues, and tone. The passage from lines 13 through 27, reveals the tarnishing of innocence, as a girl\'s wanting curiosity discovers the disheartening and bitter rea
  • Point of View
    Point of View In the short stories Defender of the Faith and Hills Like White Elephants, two very different points of view are used. In Defender of the Faith, the first person point of view is used. Hills Like White Elephants uses the objective point of view. The two different points of view give each story their own individual characteristics. One point of view is not necessarily better than the other. The two are equally effective because of how the author uses it in their respective
  • Hills Like White Elephants
    Hills Like White Elephants The Role of the Man in "Hills Like White Elephants": an anti-feminist perspective It is the early afternoon of a Tuesday, and it is raining. Surrounded by the calming non-inspiration of bare off-white walls, I sit and listen to the railing of my peers as they attempt to deconstruct the brilliance of a deceased writer. It is a usual Tuesday this semester. Seated in my accustomed place in the front row, just left of center, my eyes close to the high-keyed soprano and al
  • Perception
    Perception INTRODUCTION Perception is defined as a process by which organisms interpret and organize sensation to produce a meaningful experience of the world. Sensation usually refers to the immediate, relatively unprocessed result of stimulation of sensory receptors in the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, or skin. Perception, on the other hand, better describes one\'s ultimate experience of the world and typically involves further processing of sensory input. In practice, sensation and perception ar
  • Farewell To Arms Paper
    Farewell To Arms Paper Hemmingway has a unique style of writing. It works on multiple levels. A person could read Farewell to Arms and enjoy it as a tragic love story. Hemmingway\'s concise writing style allows a literal interpretation. At the same time a reader could get involved with the various symbols that he has placed in the novel. In a way everything he has can be used as a symbol depending on a person\'s biases. This is what makes Hemmingway\'s writing even more unique. He can have what
  • Hills Like White Elephants
    Hills Like White Elephants Hills Like White Elephants, written by Ernest Hemingway, is a story that takes place in Spain while a man and woman wait for a train. The story is set up as a dialogue between the two, in which the man is trying to convince the woman to do something she is hesitant in doing. Through out the story, Hemingway uses metaphors to express the characters\' opinions and feelings. Hills Like White Elephants displays the differences in the way a man and a woman view pregnancy an
  • Hemingway Style Analysis
    Hemingway Style Analysis 1 Earnest Hemingway is one of Americas foremost authors. His many works, their style, themes and parallels to his actual life have been the focus of millions of people as his writing style set him apart from all other authors. Many conclusions and parallels can be derived from Earnest Hemingway\'s works. In the three stories I review, ?Hills Like White Elephants?, ?Indian Camp? and ?A Clean, Well-lighted Place? we will be covering how Hemingway uses foreigners, the servi