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Setting in “Hills Like White Elephants“ Essay

  • Submitted by: anonymous
  • on November 18, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,037 words

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Below is an essay on "Setting in “Hills Like White Elephants“" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Setting in “Hills Like White Elephants“

The scene in the short story “Hills Like White Elephants“ by Ernest Hemingway opens with description of   a landscape in the valley of the River Ebro in Spain. The country is brown and dry and the valley is surrounded by long and white hills. There is a railway station between the two rails, where people are waiting for the express from Barcelona to Madrid, which is about to come in 40 minutes. There is a bar which provides an escape from the heating sun since there are no tress and no shade anywhere else in the valley. The short descriptions of setting may not seem very detailed but combined with dialogues they tell us the true meaning of this three and a half page story.
There is a couple waiting for the train. The American and his young girlfriend nicknamed Jig are sitting at a table in the shade, waiting for the train, talking and drinking beer. The whole story centres on a conversation over whether the girl should undergo an abortion or not. Although Hemingway never uses the words “abortion“ or “baby“, we can clearly tell that is all the characters are talking about. One of the first things readers and Jig notice are the hills surrounding the valley. She seems to be fascinated by them and their white colour reminds her of white elephants. The man obviously does not to care about the landscape, he keeps going back to the topic of abortion, which Jig does neither want to talk about, nor think of. “The girl looked across at the hills on the dry side of the valley and the man looked at her and at the table“ (90). She does not want to think about the future, she just wants to “look at things and try new drinks“ (34). It can also mean she is bored and not satisfied. She does not want to continue living this hurried life; she wants to move on and not to just go from hotel to hotel with her lover. She feels that life after abortion will be empty, repetitive and monotonous just like it is now. Nothing will be changed. On the...

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