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Hills Like White Elephants

Essay by   •  December 10, 2010  •  509 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,662 Views

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The short story, "Hills Like White Elephants," by Ernest Hemingway, has a lot to do with how the author lived. The time period the story mostly relates to is when he was married to Hadley and having an affair with Pauline. The story shows problems within a relationship and a lack of communication between a couple.

While Hemingway was writing this story, he wrote a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald about Pauline. He wrote about sitting in the shade and talking with her while waiting at a station. In the story, "The American and the girl with him sat at a table in the shade, outside the building" (Hemingway 731). The girl comments on the hills in the background, how they like white elephants. Her boyfriend just ignores her and every time she talks about the hills, he changes the subject. According to James Mellow, "Another oddity is that in the earliest manuscript fragment relating to the story, written in 1925, is that Hemingway who remarks to Hadley, Ð''look at those god-damn white mountains,' and she answers, Ð''They are the most mysterious things I have ever seen'" (348). This shows how Hemingway came up with the idea of the white elephants.

Another part of the story that relates to his life is the setting. While Hemingway was in Spain, the setting of the story, he found out that Hadley was pregnant for the second time. The story might have shown his true feelings about the pregnancy. In the story, the boyfriend is moody and wants the girl to do what he wants. This could be the same way Hemingway felt towards Hadley towards the end of their marriage. Also, on the manuscript of the story, he wrote a note about Pauline. This shows that he cared about her while writing the story.

Another relationship between the two is the way Hemingway dealt with women. He was married four times, and one can assume that he had his share of trouble in finding the right woman. The man in the story has trouble communicating with

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