“Hills like white elephants,” is a short story written by Ernest Hemingway that was published back in 1927. The story consist of three characters all together but only have two as the main which is an American man and his girlfriend Jig. The third character is the waitress at the train station that takes their order. The story starts off with the couple sitting outside at a table under the shade waiting for the express to come into Barcelona to take them to Madrid. The story consists of a conversation between the couple where they really don’t communicate with one another but dances around what they really want to say to one another.
The American is a dominator and in control within this relationship he knows he has power of Jig. Jig is insecure and wants to make sure he is happy even if that means she doesn’t agree with it. She’s not willing to lose him so she makes sure she does what he wants to keep him happy. With this story it clearly shows that the woman is afraid to lose the American who has power over her and knows how to guilt her to think as he does. The couple has forty minutes before the express will be coming in so they decide to order some drinks.
It’s not soon after they order the drinks that you begin to realize something is going on between the couple. “The girl was looking off at the line of hills. They were white in the sun and the country was brown and dry. ”(Hemingway, 2011, para 8) “They look like white elephants,” she said. (Hemingway, 2011, para 9). Jig once again brings up her comment about the hills looking like white elephants to get the American attention “All right. I was trying. I said the mountains looked like white elephants. Wasn’t that bright? ” (Hemingway, 2011, para 31).
The American to almost avoid the topic Jig is trying to bring up asks Jig if she’s ready for another drink. It becomes clear that Jig is pregnant and wants to talk to the American about the matter as she refers to it as the white elephant. Hemingway never truly comes out and says that Jig is pregnant, but does throw in clues about having an abortion which over all is the whole blow out between the two. “It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig,” the man said. “It’s not really an operation at all. ”( Hemingway, 2011, para 42)
In this week lesson sex was described as the physical aspect within the human body. With feminist perspective it suggests that gender and sex are not the same. Meaning that our choices are made by us as an individual not by sex. Those choices being made are more relevant than the physical features of a human being. Within this short story Hemingway shows the different makes of the two characters. The American is a selfish character who is looking out for his own wellbeing rather than Jigs. Jig is a woman who you can tell at first only want to please her man and is willing to do what he wants to make him happy.
The American knowing he has the power over Jig tries to convince her how getting rid of this problem would keep them in the lifestyle that they currently love and experience every day. The American was made to be a person of reasoning in the story. He was made to have a clear reason behind while the abortion would benefit them versus keeping the child. While his reason where selfish it showed the fact that he was going to make sure Jig knew his thoughts and how much of a burden he thought it would be if they kept the child, “That’s the only thing that bothers us.
It’s the only thing that’s made us unhappy” (Hemingway, 2011, para 50). Hemingway tried to make the American not seem so selfish by having the American offer to go with her and be by her side as well as telling her he doesn’t care if she does or doesn’t has the operation but prefers that she does. He’s not supportive to Jig and doesn’t really care about her feelings or what she thinks is best in regards to going through with the abortion or having the child. At the conclusion of the story Jig has finally came to terms that they have two different views on which is best for their relationship.
After being fed up with her boyfriend leading her toward an abortion she gets to the point where she just wants him to leave her alone. At the end they truly haven’t made a decision as a couple but each has made up their own mind. The American has decided that traveling and not having anything to do with the matter is best. Jig has realized with or without the American she is going to stick to her guns and have the baby. She realizes her life will continue to be what she makes it with or without the baby as well as without the American.
The moral of the story is to no matter what don’t let others decide your burdens or your life stand up for what you believe and not what others want. One’s true happiness comes from inside that person not by others who want to change or control your happiness.
Hemingway, E. (2011). “Hills like White Elephants”. In D. L. Pike and A. M. Acosta’s (Eds. ) Literature: A world of writing stories, poems, plays, and essays [VitalSource digital version](pp. 444-445. ). Boston, MA: Pearson learning solutions