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Literary Analysis - Book Report/Review Example

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Subject: English, Book Report/Review Date: Topic: Literary analysis: Hills Like White Elephants, by Ernest Hemingway In “Hills Like White Elephants,” Ernest Hemingway creates character development through actions and dialogues instead of descriptions and allegories…
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Literary Analysis

Download file to see previous pages... A man and a woman, the two main characters in the story, are engaged in a conversation as they have drinks at the bar. The topic of their serious discussion is not stated explicitly but one can gather that it is about the abortion for the girl. Ernest Hemingway’s mention about the statement by the man, “It’s just to let the air in,” (212) is the indicator about the gravity of the conversation. In the absence of clear-cut guidelines relating to the story, Hemingway successfully employs the technique of challenging the reader’s imagination, and that is the elegance of this story. The reader has a task cutout for him to assume about the possible conclusion of the story. A powerful imagery is the hallmark of the story, in the title and through the dialogues. The girl thinks of white elephants in relation to the mountains in Spain. A white elephant is a metaphor for a big possession that is difficult to maintain which consumes much and delivers less. The name of the woman is Jig and the man is the American. Their relationship is vague and is not clearly defined. Without marrying they have initiated a relationship resulting in girl’s pregnancy. They move from place to place with abrupt halts. The reader is unable to fathom what their relationship is. ...
The American somehow wishes to get rid of the mess that he has created for himself, and says in an argumentative and emphatic tone, “It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig."(212) Jig, it seems, is not interested in terminating the pregnancy, and she is thoroughly uncomfortable with the suggestion of the American. Still, she is inclined to toe the line of action suggested by the American, being unable to challenge him. A world of difference exists between her life before pregnancy and now. Her lifestyle has been carefree as would be observed from her assertion, “look at things and try new drinks,” (212). About Hemingway’s characters in the story Frank Kelly Rich writes, “His literary heroes not only used alcohol as ready incendiary to start dramatic fires, but also as a wall against humanity—drinking to excess was viewed as the one sure way a man could build a barrier between himself and the world he had come to loathe.”(Modern….) Pregnancy creates a new circuit in her life and opens up unthought-of dimensions. What appeals to her once, no more enchants her, in the changed circumstances. She craves for the child, but realizes that the present lifestyle is not possible with the responsibility of taking care of the child. Therefore, the American persuades her for the abortion and pleads that it is an “easy” and “simple” process and when that is done, it is possible to recoup the level of happiness they have been enjoying. Jig is in a serious dilemma. Normally the reader at this stage thinks that the delicate problem between the two relates to the “still born,” child. Besides, it is an emotional and ethical issue. She is frustrated and wishes ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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