“Hill like White Elephants”: Ernest Hemingway

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It is clear that the man is referring to a certain procedure. He explains what is happening to the child, adding that it is normal. When he says, "They just let the air in," he's attempting to demonstrate to the girl how basic the treatment is. When he says, "I will go with you and be with you all the time," he indicates he will be with her during the operation.

There have been many hypotheses about the "white elephant" over the years, all of which illustrate how it is unwelcome, a cast responsibility. When Jig says that the hills outside look like the "white elephant," she tries to bring in their topic. It is not different from the elephant in the room because both of them are unwanted.


Licorice taste includes sweet, bitter, salty and sour. It is like a mixture of taste that someone cannot seem to tell out. The metaphor for feeling in this sense shows the emotions or feelings experienced. You wait for something with anticipations that it would be good, but once it comes, it is confusing and bitter to handle as it happens in most situations in life.


Jig repeats ‘please’ many times to show emphasis. Repetition brings the stress effect on everything. When the American continues to speak, she threatens to scream; her tone shows fatigue or rather anguish of their situation. She is tired of hearing what he has to say, that is why she threatens to scream if he continues. She is a bitchy goddess as she threatens to scream which of course would draw the attention of everyone else waiting for the train.


Reasonably attaches logic with it. Waiting honestly, for the train shows he thought every other waiting person had their issues put together. They knew what they want and what was good for them. This shows the American thinks less of Jig; he perceives Jig does not know what is reasonably good for her. She is not sure of her decisions, which might be wrong.


I side with the girl as much as the man insisted on the simplicity of this procedure. The girl repeatedly says she will do it for him, to make him happy. She says she does not care about herself but rather on something to make the ‘American’ happy: which is her agreeing to the procedure.

A reader might sympathize with the man because he seemed satisfied with their situation before the issues changed. He is trying to convince the girl into a procedure so that their lifestyle does not change but rather remains to be what it has been. It seems like an option for his happiness, and it is up to the girl to make that decision.


Hemingway uses prose in this story. His sentences are short, straightforward and direct. A lot omission leaves the reader at a mystery. Hemingway’s style of writing is the iceberg theory. It is said his early journalistic career greatly influences it. His style of writing involves many omissions. It has a significant effect on the tone of the story as it brings out a detached tone. The writer has no connection with the characters of the story.

November 03, 2022



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