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Analysis of Ernest Hemingway, “Hills Like White Elephants”

In: English and Literature

Submitted By mpanay
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Marina Panay
Professor Huot
WRT 201
30 March 2015
Analysis of Ernest Hemingway, “Hills Like White Elephants” In the story “Hills Like White Elephants” the author Ernest Hemingway tells a story of a couple who are at a train station dialoging about an abortion. Hemingway shows how men do not think the same way about abortions than woman do. Hemmingway also sends a message of how men are manipulative towards women. He illustrates how women seem to have a harder time overpowering a man in a relationship. First, Hemmingway shows how men do not think the same way about abortions than woman do because in the story the man says it is a perfectly “natural procedure” (Hemmingway) not thinking of all of the hardship an abortion brings to a woman. According to the criticism “ it reveals perhaps better than any other part of the story the terms of the central conflict” (Madden). The man does not think of what the woman has to go through in the procedure. The emotional state and the physically pain full procedure she has to endure, knowing that she will not be having a child that could be the start of a new family for her. Because of the way that the man does not seem to care that he is getting rid of a child with life and just wants to continue the relationship with the woman after she has to sacrifice so much with the abortion shows the lack of knowledge the man has about the feeling a woman goes through when they have an abortion. Second, Hemmingway sends a message of how men are manipulative towards woman. In the story the man continuously keeps talking about how the woman should have an abortion without considering her opinions to the aspect. The man says “it’s a simple solution to a clear problem.” (Hemmingway) The fact that the man says it is a simple solution shows that he wants to get rid of the problem without caring how the woman will feel. According to the criticism “The boyfriend does not even give Jig a chance to choose before answering on their behalf suggesting a regular pattern of the man deciding for her, as she did not oppose to this.” (Madden) Third, Hemmingway illustrates how women seem to have a harder time overpowering a man in a relationship. In relation to what the critic pointed out about the woman not opposing to any suggestions the man had to say that also shows a difficult time trying to overpower the man. Even though she was thinking in her head what will be of the relationship if she does have the abortion, if there will be a relationship at all, she did not express her feelings to the man in any way. Not being able to express herself shows that she did not have any authority in the relationship and the relationship was really only one sided. In conclusion, in the story “Hills Like White Elephants” the author Ernest Hemingway shows how men do not think the same way about abortions than woman do, sends a message of how men are manipulative towards women, and illustrates how women seem to have a harder time overpowering a man in a relationship. Hemmingway wrote this story with a feminist point of view because the woman really did not have a say in what the man decided. She could not express herself the way she wanted to and even though she knew here would be no relationship after their conversation, she could not address that to the man herself knowing that her words would not change the way the man approached the situation.

Works Cited
Ernest Hemmingway, “Hills Like White Elephants” p. 276 10th edition
Madden, David. "ALLUSION, WORD-PLAY, AND THE CENTRAL CONFLICT IN HEMINGWAY'S "HILLS LIKE WHITE ELEPHANTS"" Classes METHODS Hemingway Files Allusion (n.d.): n. pag. Web.…...

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