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Communication As the Key to Success in Relationships: Analytical Essay

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A successful relationship occurs only when a consistent effort is made and maintained by both partners. Many times, couples enter relationships under the notion that since they are with someone they love, no conflicts will take place. Couples are cheerful and carefree when their relationships are moving smoothly and without the occurrence of any problems. However, when disagreements arise, many couples choose to ignore their disputes, instead of addressing them. To cope with the challenges in their relationships, couples will resort to intoxication as a means to escape from reality. Over time, this becomes a prevalent means to deal with stress and creates further challenges in the relationship. Very often, the male will take on the more dominant role in the relationship and will thus have greater power in major decisions made in the relationship. This results in the female having to ultimately comply to her partner’s wants, which are of greater importance than her own. As a result of this, the female constantly attempts to persuade herself that she agrees with the decisions made by her partner, although she truly does not. In the short story “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway, it is demonstrated utilizing character and location, through the American man and the girl, that a lack of communication, particularly during a crucial time, can create differences between a couple which can ultimately dismantle a relationship. Therefore, for a relationship to last, both partners must maintain consistent communication with one another.

The American man and the girl constantly try to refrain from talking to each other about their decision on whether or not to have an abortion, either through avoidance or through intoxication. The couple drinks very often, as a way to avoid each other. Shortly after the American man and the girl sit down at the train station, the girl comes to a realization and says, “ “I wanted to try this new drink. That’s all we do, isn’t it—look at things and try new drinks?” (Hemingway 476). The couple is drinking mainly to avoid thinking about the abortion, however, it is implied that there are many more underlying problems between the both of them. The girl states that they do not do anything together except try new drinks, which can be viewed as an excuse for them to constantly avoid one another. As a result of their consistent avoidance, it has become a routine for the couple to use alcohol as a means to avoid conversation, as well as the difficulties they are facing in their relationship. By the end of the story, the American man and the girl drink separately, the man drinks at the bar without the girl, which can be seen as an implication that the both of them will soon part ways in their relationship. The girl requests the American multiple times during their conversation to stop talking. For the second time during their conversation, the girl says, “ “Would you please please please please please please please stop talking?” ” (478). After spending time arguing about whether or not to have the abortion, the girl begs the man to stop talking. This demonstrates how the two of them avoid discussing important matters concerning their relationship. The girl repeating the word “please” seven times signifies just how desperate she is for the topic of conversation to change. It appears to have become a common occurrence for the girl to tell the man to stop talking because it takes her two tries for him to finally stop. This demonstrates just how many challenges the girl avoids talking to the man about. Without properly addressing their problems, their relationship is not likely to last.

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It is evident through the location that the American man and the girl are at an extremely pivotal moment in their relationship. The couple being at a train station displays how they are at a crossroads in their relationship. At the very beginning, it is stated that “It was very hot and the express from Barcelona would come in forty minutes. It stopped at this junction for two minutes and went on to Madrid.” (475). The train station is not the final destination in the journey of the American man and the girl, but rather a momentary break between Barcelona and Madrid. Therefore, just like travelers, the American man and the girl must choose in which direction they want to go. They can either part ways, and end their relationship, or, they can stay together, and continue their relationship. This decision depends on how successfully they communicate their feelings to each other, and finalize a solution to their problems together. The juxtaposition between the white hills across the valley and the desolate land depicts two opposites in one location. When the girl walks to the end of the station, the setting is described in more detail “Across, on the other side, were fields of grain and trees along the banks of the Ebro. Far away, beyond the river, were mountains.” (477). The white hills represent fertility, while the desolate land on the other side represents sterility. This depicts the choice that the girl and the American have to make, they both have to choose which direction they want to go. These are both opposites, symbolizing life and death. This demonstrates how the American and girl need to communicate with each other in order to come to a conclusion as to what they want to do.

In conclusion, communication is mandatory in a relationship in order for it to be successful and enjoyable. In the short story “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway utilizes character and location to portray through the American man and the girl that the absence of communication, especially during an important time, can produce disaccord within a couple which can eventually dissolve a relationship. Therefore, for a strong and lasting relationship, constant communication is required between both individuals. People tend to look for ways to avoid dealing with conflicts with their partners. Therefore, to resolve challenges in one’s relationships, one must maintain open communication with their partner constantly. The American man and the girl consistently tried to escape from communicating with each other. The most important aspect of any relationship is for both individuals to be open to discussion with their partner, and to not avoid their problems.

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Communication As the Key to Success in Relationships: Analytical Essay. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 1, 2022, from
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