This is a very important story written by Ernest Hemingway and it is a story involving a man and a woman waiting to board a train. This story explains the dialogue between these two people of the opposite sex where the man tries to persuade that woman to take an action that she is not willing to do. In this story the author uses different figurative languages such as metaphors to show the attitudes and opinions of different players. This story is given a name Hills like White Elephant and it portrays men and women view about pregnancy and abortion. The thesis statement of this essay therefore is difference in a man and a woman perception about pregnancy and abortion. This is very important in ensuring that there is an understanding about the way men and women perceive pregnancy and abortion.
The perception of a woman about pregnancy is that it is a very important part of life and in this story pregnancy is shown through discussion between two different people. It is being referred by her as elephant. They are similar to white elephant(464). This woman therefore compares her pregnancy condition with the hill. "Theyre lovely hills. They really dont look like white elephants. I just meant the coloring of their skin through the trees" (465). In the same way the hills have their own unique beauty according to her, she perceives pregnancy in the same manner and this makes her to use the Hills being with skin as a reference that it has an engorged mould that what was initially flat.
In the contrary, the perception of a man about pregnancy is exactly opposite of the opinion of a woman. A situation where a young girl has a dialogue concerning white Elephants and accepts that it has never been seen by any man, he replies that, "I might have, just because you say I havent doesnt prove anything" (464). This is a critical indication of how a man is cynical and the condition where a woman cannot identify what has some beauty and what is has no beauty is different from it.
There are also other issues which this story covers about abortion. These discussions have two contrary views. It is important to note that the opinion of women about abortion can be comprehended when the conversation changes from hills to the operation. "Then what action will we take afterwards?" (465).This phrase indicates that a woman usually has greater concern of what can take place after the operation."And if I do it you will be happy and things will be like they were and you will love me" (465). In this case, the woman means that she is eager to receive reassurance that she will not die during the operation. This is because the effect of abortion greatly affects her emotional strain. For that matter, the story in totality indicates that the woman has been more reluctant to abort and this is evident when she refuses to agree on the abortion issue.
In this story there is a belief by a woman that the only way to have freedom is through gaining good experiences. "And we could have all of this, and every day we make it more impossible" (466). According to the quote above, the woman means the kind of pregnancy experience that women go through when they are pregnant and this assures us of the freedom that we strongly believe in."I said we could have everything (we could have the whole world" (466) and this kind of freedom is usually perpetual and will never come to an end.
The speech of a man is vividly illustrates that he holds a strong belief that abortion is nothing and does not matter: "I know you wouldnt mind it, Jig. Its really not anything. Its just to let the air in" (465). When he says, air in he is explaining the way abortion is carried out and the strength in which he has when foretelling the attitudes of a girl- I know you wouldnt mind it" (465). It therefore means to him that abortion is another kind of operation to be worried of.
According to the man, it is important for the girl to have the abortion because it is able to limit her freedom. The man believes that the added responsibility to take care of the child is able to reduce her opportunities in life and therefore minimizes her freedom to tape possible opportunities. The statement of the girl "Its ours," she is referring to what she can receive from the World to support the baby and the man responds, No, isnt. And once they take it away, it cannot be restored (466). According to the statement of the man, it therefore means that once the girl has lost her freedom, it will not be easy for her to regain it.
Finally towards the end of this story, key points are clarified vividly and the man enquires if the woman is in good condition. She says, I feel fine, nothing is wrong with me. I feel fine, (467). In this case the woman restates that she believes that pregnancy is not a bad experience as stated by the man. But according to the man, the solution has not been received and therefore there are a lot of things to be done.
The man then collected the two bags and walked all over the station to look for the train which he could not find. When he comes back, he passed across the barroom where people await for the train take a drink. He took Anis and stares at the people in the room who were waiting for the train. The man thereafter returned and finds her in bead curtain. Are you feeling ok? (467). This is the main figurative language in the form of metaphor that describes the condition of the man towards the end of this story. The man collected the bags (questions) to search for the train but (answers) found nothing. The solution to the question is that what he is searching for cannot just come to him but he has the responsibility of waiting in order to see what takes place.
When he is in the bar, he was the only person that could not wait for the train patiently and this means that other people had no problem waiting for the train. And when he goes back where the woman was, he still asked if the woman is still feeling better in the view that the condition will correct itself immediately he left that place.
According to this story, it is understood that people have varied opinion about abortion and pregnancy and the key participants in this story include a woman and a man. In regard to the woman, pregnancy is viewed as a beautiful thing and provides a good experience of life and the woman also hold the assumption that the loss of that experience is able to eliminate her freedom. In the contrary, the man believes that pregnancy happens by inconvenience and this inconvenience can only be eliminated through abortion.
Gillette, Meg. "Making Modern Parents In Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants" And Vina Delmar's Bad Girl". MFS Modern Fiction Studies 53.1 (2007): 50-69. Web.
Hashmi, Nilofer. "&Quot;Hills Like White Elephants&Quot;: The Jilting Of Jig". The Hemingway Review 23.1 (2003): 72-83. Web.
Hemingway, Ernest. Hills Like White Elephants. Goshgarian 463-467
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