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They seat themselves at a bar in the shadow of the train station and begin to discuss what they should drink. The man, who speaks Spanish while the girl does not, orders two beers from the Spanish waitress, who is referred to as the woman.
Hemingway immediately emphasizes the oppressive nature of the setting, and the couple escapes into the only shade available for temporary relief through alcohol. Significantly, their conversation begins with a discussion of what to drink, suggesting how central alcohol has become to their avoidance of real communication.
Active Themes When the woman serves the couple their drinks, they are not talking. The girl is staring at the distant hills, which are brightly lit in the sunlight, though otherwise barren in appearance.
This comment leads to a brief bickering match over whether the man may or may not have seen a white elephant. The relationship between the man and the girl is characterized by silence, small talk, and outbursts of irritation, along with drink after drink.
He responds that the drink is called Anis del Toro. The girl asks if they can try it, and the man immediately tells the woman to get them two Anis del Toro. He orders the drinks with water.
Active Themes The girl makes another seemingly benign comment about the licorice taste of the Anis drink and how everything tastes like licorice. The operation goes unnamed throughout the story, but it is clearly a euphemism for an abortion.
At the time abortions were illegal and often very dangerous, adding to the coded nature of their conversation. Active Themes Finally the girl breaks her silence and asks the man what they will do after the operation.
The man insists that everything will go back to the way it was and the two will be happy together again. She repeatedly asks whether he will love her if she does what he wants. To the man the pregnancy is something they can leave behind them, like a piece of extra baggage in their many travels.
But for the girl, the pregnancy holds the promise of a beautiful new type of life together, one that he cannot or refuses to see.
The girl, in turn, asks him to stop talking. The man continues to try to control the girl, down to where she walks and what she feels and wants. He is asking her to abort their child, but manipulatively phrasing his request as something romantic and selfless.
Active Themes At this point the girl asks the man to do her a favor, to which he instantly agrees. With surprising intensity, she begs him to stop talking.
The man does not respond but looks at their luggage, which is stamped with all sorts of stickers from their stays in various hotels.
When he eventually speaks again, he claims not to care about the operation, and the girl threatens to scream. The woman appears from the bar to let the couple know that their train will be arriving in five minutes, which the man translates for the girl. The girl smiles at the waitress, as though everything is fine.
Here her feelings are closest to the surface and there is the sense that there will be an emotional explosion, and then perhaps even some real communication and confrontation of the truth. Active Themes The man excuses himself from the table, explaining that he should move their bags to the other side of the station.
The man carries the heavy luggage to their tracks where the train is not yet visible. As he walks back through the bar he stops to get another Anis del Toro alone.
As the man walks, we feel the oppressiveness of the pregnancy from his perspective, a worry he carries with him like heavy luggage.
His frustration is palpable, yet when he rejoins the girl, both once again feign normalcy, refusing to communicate honestly in favor of further avoidance and concealment.
Retrieved September 13, Hills Like White Elephants is a short story written by Ernest Hemingway. It was first published in the collection Men Without Women in The story is set at a train station in the Ebro River valley of Spain where a couple is waiting for their train to Madrid. The ending of Hemingway’s story, “Hills Like White Elephants” was interpreted for decades in one way: the female protagonist surrenders to her partner’s wishes that she undergo abortion.
Around , new readings of the story’s ending story began to appear. "Hills Like White Elephants" is a short story by Ernest Hemingway that was first published in Read The Emotional Impact That Hemingway’s Divorce and Separation Had on “hills like White Elephants” free essay and over 88, other research documents.
The Emotional Impact That Hemingway’s Divorce and Separation Had on “hills like White Elephants”. Hills like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway - Symbolism in Hemingway’s Story ‘Hills like White Elephants’ ‘Hills Like White Elephants’ is a short story authored by Ernest Hemingway about an American and a girl named Jig.
Marina Panay Professor Huot WRT 30 March 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.