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“An Ambiguous Narrative About A Controversial Debate”

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“An Ambiguous Narrative about a Controversial Debate”

“Hills Like White Elephants,” is a short story written by Ernest Hemingway about a very controversial subject in today’s society. Although, Hemingway never clearly states exactly what the story is about, it can be determined in an ambiguous manner. Even though it has the potential to bring much debate over what the storyline entails, it is a very influencing piece by a very important author.

The overall mood in the story is high tense and projects this to the reader immediately and the writer significantly portrays this. The piece starts out with the two characters making drab small talk and ordering alcoholic beverages. This immediately sets the mood. The man says to the woman, “Let’s try and have a fun time,” which also adds to the theory that the mood is very dark that a problem exists. There is a set of train tracks on one side of the man and woman and on the other side lies fields of grain and trees along the banks of the Ebro River and beyond that are mountains. Clouds slowly pass over in the sky, contributing to this dark environment.

The dialogue in “Hills Like White Elephants,” can be confusing and unclear for the reader. Hemingway never specifically indicates who exactly he is referring to or of exactly what subject he is speaking. The narrative is simply dialogue of a man and a woman where the topic of conversation is never defined and leaves the reader pondering as to what the two people are so intensely conversing over. The reader is mandated to figure out exactly what the two characters are emotional over. It is clear there is much emotion and controversy within the conversation because they are agonizing and debating about something. For example, the man says to the woman, “I don’t want you to do it if you don’t want to. I’m perfectly willing to go



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