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A summary of hemingways hills like white elephants

Synopsis[ edit ] 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.

Hills Like White Elephants

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. Analysis[ edit ] There is little context or background information about the characters.

  1. Finally, she repeats to him that she feels fine even though it seems she likely does not.
  2. He alludes to letting air in and letting things progress naturally. This has led to varying interpretations of the story.
  3. She requests that he stop talking about it.

Readers must come to their own conclusions based on the dialogue. This has led to varying interpretations of the story. One point of debate is whether or not the woman decides to get an abortion.

Critics like Stanley Renner assert that the details in the story imply that the woman decides to keep the baby: Will they break up or stay together? There is no universal consensus because of the nature of the story; the reader is simply not given much information.

Symbolism[ edit ] The description of the valley of Ebroin the opening paragraph, is often seen as having deeper meanings: She explains the drink "was alluring not only because of its narcotic effects but also because of its reputation as an aphrodisiac. She postulates that "the addictive quality of the drink…is meant to emphasize the addictive nature of the couple's lifestyle…It is an empty, meaningless existence that revolves around traveling, sex, drinking, looking at things, and having pointless conversations about these things".

  • Ultimately, one feels that she was never really planning to change his mind since she was drinking alcohol even before they began the conversation;
  • Like the man and woman's relationship, it is alluring at first, but "It becomes a destroyer of the child, who is aborted; a destroyer of the girl, who endures the physical and emotional pain of aborting the child she wants; and a destroyer of the couple's relationship".

Like the man and woman's relationship, it is alluring at first, but "It becomes a destroyer of the child, who is aborted; a destroyer of the girl, who endures the physical and emotional pain of aborting the child she wants; and a destroyer of the couple's relationship".

From the outset of the story, the contentious nature of the couple's conversation indicates resentment and unease. Some critics have written that the dialogue is a distillation of the contrasts between stereotypical male and female relationship roles: She also asks his permission to order a drink.

Hills Like White Elephants Summary

Throughout the story, the woman is distant; the American is rational. Though the immediate problem is the unwanted pregnancy, the experience has revealed that the relationship is a shallow one. While most critics have espoused relatively straightforward interpretations of the dialogue, a few have argued for alternate scenarios.

  1. Like the man and woman's relationship, it is alluring at first, but "It becomes a destroyer of the child, who is aborted; a destroyer of the girl, who endures the physical and emotional pain of aborting the child she wants; and a destroyer of the couple's relationship". This has led to varying interpretations of the story.
  2. The reader gets the sense that Jig is unsure about whether or not she wants the abortion, but the man appears to be pushing her into it.
  3. Though the immediate problem is the unwanted pregnancy, the experience has revealed that the relationship is a shallow one.

The anti-feminist perspective emphasizes the notion that the man dominates the woman in the story, and she ultimately succumbs to his will by getting the abortion.

Frederick Busch asserts that the woman "'buries her way of seeing as she will bury her child.