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Discuss the way setting contributes to tone, characterization, and/or theme in the short stories - Essay Example

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ENG 231 L04 October 22, 2011 Comparing the settings in “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “Hills like White Elephants” “Hills like White Elephants” is a typical short story by Ernest Hemingway bordering around his favorite themes of sadness and bewilderment…
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Discuss the way setting contributes to tone, characterization, and/or theme in the short stories

Download file to see previous pages... In “Hills like White Elephants” (Hemingway 1). Hemingway vaguely points to the controversial subject of abortion. Though the word is not at all stated in the story but the major subject of the story is abortion. Here, Hemingway employs his theory of omission to introduce the major subject and keeps it up to the readers to interpret from the dialogues of the two characters in the short story, the American and Jig. In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, which was written in 1892, centers around the major theme of feminism. It beautifully and intrinsically describes the state of women during that era. It also brings some kind of horror to the minds of the readers, since it is centering on the theme of delirium which was a common disease assigned to women of that age. The story is about a woman, who is subjected to confinement by her physician husband. Even though both the stories are entirely different with respect to their subject matter, an invisible chain of commonality binds them together. The settings of both these stories have contributed in a great way to the theme, characterization and the tone of the story. Although the settings are not static in the above mentioned stories, it is dynamic and has a major role to play in both the stories. The settings assign the embellishment of a major character in “Hills like White Elephants” and “The Yellow Wallpaper”. In the “Hills like White Elephants” (Hemingway 1). Jig compares the distant hills around the railway station where the story takes place, to white elephants. Jig doesn’t want to abort her baby unlike the American who is her partner. Thus, the settings: the distant hills have utmost symbolic importance in the story. Jig compares the hills to the white elephant, because to her, the unborn baby is a priceless possession like white elephants whereas to the American, the unborn baby stands for the white elephants since he has to spend more amount of money on the baby. Thus while Jig doesn’t wish for abortion, the American supports it. The hills represent the enlarged abdomen and the body of a pregnant woman. The railway track has barren hills on one border and fertile land on the other border. The fertile land symbolizes the fertility of a woman which is represented by Jig while the barren hills compared to white elephants, symbolize the infertility or abortion which is represented by the American. Thus, the short story by Ernest Hemingway is filled with symbolism in the settings. The tone and characterization of the story is determined by the settings. The story is set in a modern railway station and gives a tinge of modernity to the story which makes the story capable of covering the contemporary subject of abortion. The Yellow Wallpaper takes us to an entirely different era in terms of settings which is set in the Gothic world. During that era women were subjected to classify as lunatics and were confined in a room by the physicians. The protagonist of the story is also one such desperate woman who is held within the four walls of a disgusting room by her physician husband. The suffocation experienced by the protagonist is the major theme of the story. In this story also, the settings play a major role. The room with the yellow wallpaper is even personalized as a feminine character in the story. The woman within the wall represents the creative imagination of the protagonist which ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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