Analysis of Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway
In â€œHills Like White Elephantsâ€ Ernest Hemingway relies on symbolism to convey the theme of abortion. The symbolic material objects, as well as the strong symbolic characters, aid the readerâ€™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 coupleâ€™s, â€œthe Americanâ€ and â€œthe girlâ€™sâ€, usual routine activity they do together. This bothers the girl because â€œthatâ€™s all [they] do â€¦ look at things and try new drinks.â€ 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; â€œit had no shade and no treesâ€, very desert like. However, the other hill on the other side of the station is beautiful, plentiful in nature, and had â€œfields of grain and tress along the banks of the Ebro River.â€ 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 t...
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