Hills Like White Elephants

"Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms. Sow the same seed of rapacious license and oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind" (Hemingway, 362). These prophetic words of Ernest Hemingway's and the chilling message they create are a large part of the reason his novels are stories of all places and all times. Hemingway through his characters in Hills Like White elephants is able to reveal complex truths about people and its organization through his influential and compelling characters.

The pregnancy can be looked at in the same way, an obstacle in their lives. The main characters can either go ahead having the baby, or they can go back to the way things were before she became pregnant. One set of tracks lead to the abortion and the other set leads to the way things were. The decision has to be made now. There is no turning back once the decision is made. The train is stopping for only two minutes. But like a train ride they can only go in one of these two directions. As seen in the story Jig realizes that if she gets the abortion that she will never be able to get the baby back. According to Stanley Renner, Jig decides to go with her own feelings about not only what to do about the baby but also the most rewarding way to go in life. One side of the station presents a barren vista, which could represent abortion, while the other side presents a fertile field, an image associated with life (Hemingway, 27). Jig and the American have very different feelings about having an abortion. In the view of Consigny, the curtain in the story symbolizes the differences in Jig and the American - the girl's desire to have the baby and the American's desire to do away with the pregnancy.

In my opinion, they are separated from the people that are inside the bar by the bamboo bead curtain. When the girl reaches out and takes hold of two strings of the beads she talks about the two of them. In the conversation if she had been including the baby she would have taken hold of three strings of the beads. The inability to communicate throughout the story creates tension between the man and Jig. This is seen through Jig's sarcasm when talking about the licorice. When the girl say's, "everything tastes of licorice. Especially all the things you've waited so long for (Hemingway, 212)" the reader feels the conversation is not at all about licorice. It just builds the gap between them. Jig does not say exactly what is on her mind. Instead, she hints about her frustration. Lanier's opinion is that the American's thought of the relationship is one of a temporary state. Unlike Jig, he wants to do what ever it takes to keep this relationship from becoming one of a permanent nature (Hemingway, 287). Seeing that all they do is travel from place to place staying in hotel after hotel and drinking all the time shows that this relationship is merely a temporary one. There is not any type of commitment in this relationship. ...

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