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Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway - Essay Example

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Summary
The scant descriptions are in third person and throw light only on details regarding the place and setting where a small, deceptively simple incident takes place. The…
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Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway
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Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway

Download file to see previous pages... Hemingway does not use the crucial word in any part of the story, but the context, dialogues and the behavioral pattern of the two main characters would make it clear that they are planning to travel by train to Madrid to abort their child.
The most intriguing aspect of the story is its terse narrative structure that leads the readers slowly to the core of the issue dealt with. The third person narrative serves the functional purpose of describing the mise en scene and filling in the unavoidable details of action. Each word has its weight and significance in the story for the same reason. Moreover, the story makes use of symbolic representations through every image that appears in it. The protagonists have a few drinks in the train station in the Ebro River valley of Spain and speak about the hills in the background, the drinks, their shared life, the abortion and their future. The varying viewpoints of the man and woman regarding the abortion are part cleverly revealed through their conversation and action.
Hemingway presents a fragment from the life of the protagonists, but this throws light on the effects of time and space on the quality of their life. They are presumably the representatives of the ‘roaring twenties, who led a hedonistic life after the First World War. The crumbling social valued and family structure have led to a freewheeling life where men and women lived for the moment, and tried to get rid of commitments and responsibilities. The tension felt through the curt dialogue shows how the attitudes to such a life differ drastically between the man and the girl. The man is obviously distracted by the prospective because he is forcing the girl to do it. He forcefully brings the subject during the conversation and says, “That’s the only thing that bothers us. It’s the only thing that’s made us unhappy”. He neglects the attempt by the girl to bring to his notice that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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