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Hills Like White Elephants

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"Hills like White Elephants", written by Ernest Hemingway is not a story in the classical sense with an introduction, a development, and an end. Instead the reader must conclude the meaning of the story from a conversation between a couple, a girl and her American boyfriend. Conflict is created through conversation as these characters face the obstacle of an unexpected pregnancy. Their situation is further complicated by their inability to convey their differing opinions to each other. Tropes, symbolism, and the title's meaning are effective means of communicating the conflict for the reader.

The American man and Jig, the girl with him, the two main characters in the story are faced to make a sudden decision on an operation, an abortion. They have different views on this, as the reader can tell by subtle hints in the setting, conversation, and the body language between the two of them. The story takes place in the valley of Ebro, where a couple discusses their views on an abortion. The reader is told that they discuss this over a few drinks at the train station bar where they will board a train if they decide to go about the abortion. The whole story is the discussion of this abortion, behind hidden symbolism. Tropes are what help the reader realize the type of operation, the type of characters, the situation, and their life changing decision.

Everything in the story is related to fertility and bareness. This theme is presented to the reader from the title, "Hills like White Elephants", where the hills refer to the shape of the belly of a pregnant woman and the white elephant is an idiom that refers to something useless and unwanted , in this case the fetus. The underlying theme of their conversation is love, feelings, and their baby. The trope hills like white elephants suggest her pregnant stomach is like an unwanted gift that someone pretends to like or want. The American sees the baby as a problem and something that is interfering with their relationship. He pushes her to go through with the operation presenting it as "simple" and "perfectly natural" [365]. He urges her to remove herself of this white elephant. Hills like White Elephants is a trope in the form of a simile that helps the reader realize what the operation is and that there is a decision to be made on an unexpected pregnancy. The vehicle in this trope is the white elephant which represent something that is unwanted. The tenor in this trope is the hills which represent her baby, the pregnant girl's stomach. This trope shows the reader that the story is about the decision of an unexpected pregnancy.

Hemingway introduces the theme of two which is quite significant in this story. The girl and the American are divided in their perceptions of the situation. As well they anticipate the arrival of the train for two different reasons. Hemingway places the train station in the middle of two rail way lines, which leads us to our next trope. The station is divided by two different places with two different meanings. The story begins on the side where "the country was brown and dry" [364], it was infertile. The two spend there conversation on the barren side of the station which represents the abortion. They will live in this type of place if they go on with the abortion. There life will be infertile, dry, and dead. After conversing with the American man about the abortion, Jig gets up from the table and walks



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