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Yellow Womanand Hills Like White Elephants - Essay Example

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“Yellow Woman” by Leslie Silko and “Hills Like White Elephants” by Earnest Hemingway are different short stories with different plots but similar theme. Both of the stories show female characters searching for their identities that they can best relate with. They are not…
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Yellow Womanand Hills Like White Elephants
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Your full April 14, Stories’ Analyses “Yellow Woman” by Leslie Silko and “Hills Like White Elephants” by Earnest Hemingway are different short stories with different plots but similar theme. Both of the stories show female characters searching for their identities that they can best relate with. They are not happy with the current identities; are eager to embrace the new identities; but, are also afraid to lose their relations that are linked to their current identities. Women are in a constant search for identity, but they have to make a lot of compromises to keep their relations (theme).
Leslie Silko, in her short story, “Yellow Woman”, has tried to explore boundaries between tradition and modernity, and between myth and reality. The narrator is a young, married woman, who enjoys a brief affair with a strange man named Silva in a faraway place near the waters. The myth of the Yellow Woman and the katsina spirit of the mountain is brought into question, as Silva calls her his Yellow Woman, luring her into going with him. When the woman returns to her home in Peublo, she finds herself meeting the reality, but she still waits for Silva to return to her one day and take her with him, like the katsina spirit of the mountain took the Yellow Woman with him. Silko has described how the modern day woman is in search of her sexual and gender identity, and how she uses her imagination to feel in love with a man dominating her, as we read, “You don’t understand, do you, little Yellow Woman? You will do what I want,” says Silva to her (Silko 370). The woman is in search of a man who loves her, but comes back to reality much sooner than she realizes that it is all over.
Earnest Hemingway, in the short story “Hills Like White Elephants”, has also made use of symbolism, like Silko did in her story. Silko symbolized the modern woman with the Yellow Woman, and the stranger named Silva with the katsina spirit. Likewise, Hemingway symbolizes the mountains with elephants. For the heroin of the story, Jig, mountains seemed like white elephants, slow and stable. She wanted to have the child so that her stable married life could start. The man did not want the child, as for him, life would become slow and stagnant just like the mountains. Jig was in search of her new identity as a mother, and the man wanted to reject this new identity by having the child aborted. Hence, we see that the two characters are faced with the dilemma of either choosing or rejecting their new identities as parents. But, Jig admitted to the man’s idea of abortion because she knew she had to compromise, because she knew she would shatter, as we read, “Ill scream” (Hemingway 101).
The similarity between the two stories shows itself in the setting. There are mountains, and faraway places, and the character are in a sense of motion and travel. Also, the search for identity is the common theme in the two stories. However, the difference is between the two women’s approach toward the acceptance of truth. The Yellow Woman agrees to her present identity, but waits silently in her heart for the stranger to take her away; while, Jig seems to shatter within herself on the thought of compromising over the abortion matter.
Works Cited
Hemingway, Earnest. Hills Like White Elephants. Canada: HarperCollins, 2013.
Silko, Leslie. Yellow Woman. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr 2014. < http://people.ku.edu/~write-on/203/pdf/Silko%20Yellow%20Woman.pdf >
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