"Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway
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This paper examines the use of setting and narrative in Ernest Hemingway's short story "Hills Like White Elephants". The paper explains that because of the transitional quality of the background, the reader naturally becomes curious about the previous circumstances of the characters- what was their situation before, what brought the characters to this moment, and where are they going? The paper looks at how Hemingway uses the setting of a train station to suggest to the reader that the characters are in a place of transition. The writer explains that this is a vital clue for the reader, as it will determine his understanding of the plot as a whole. The writer also suggests that it is also this notion that supplants the plot with its real action- the realization and subsequent emotional transitions or choices of the characters involved- especially that of the woman. The writer believes that the setting also serves to remind the reader that this narrative is not just a conversation- but a conversation with a purpose- and that it will take the characters in specific directions.
From the Paper:"Upon entering the bar, the girl asks the man "what should we drink?" and instead of responding with an answer about what they should drink he merely comments on the weather saying "It's pretty hot" to which the woman responds "let's drink beer". This is the first interchange available to the reader, and while it's very short and seemingly sparse, it is very telling. The woman is making an effort to connect with the man- to be together, rather than being two people who travel together. His comments inform the reader that they haven't been together for a while now because, while he is there physically, he's already gone.
The state of their relationship is further illustrated through the man's reluctance to make any decisions and the reader finds out later that this non action is symbolic. It becomes apparent that the woman has become pregnant and the man is shirking his manly responsibility."
Cite this Book Review:
"Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway (2008, May 15) Retrieved August 08, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/hills-like-white-elephants-by-ernest-hemingway-103482/
""Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway" 15 May 2008. Web. 08 August. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/hills-like-white-elephants-by-ernest-hemingway-103482/>