Critical Analysis of Symbols in 'Hills Like White Elephants'

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To have braveness is to do what you desire, barring the care of what others will think. By that preference, Earnest Hemingway is a very brave man. During a time when abortion used to be such an unspoken taboo, Hemingway threw a warning to the wind and wrote `Hills Like White Elephants`, a story about an American man and his girlfriend, Jig. The couple is at an educated station in Europe on their way to Madrid to get Jig an abortion. Symbolism performs an integral role in `Hills Like White Elephants`.

Three indispensable forms of symbolism are shown via Jig`s name, the reference to white elephants, and the bamboo beaded curtain in the teaching station. Symbolism can be needless to say mentioned or it can be barely extra subtle. The pick out of the woman, Jig, is a photograph all in itself. In the book, Jig says 'I desired to attempt this new drink. That's all we do, is no longer it--look at matters and strive for new drinks?' (from the story) Her title displays this due to the fact a jig is moreover a shape of the dimension of alcohol. What is additionally interesting about their names is that the man is a doubt referred to as `an American` and only Jig is given a name, this leads the readers to create the characters into whomever we would like, and by means of way of the symbolism in the title Jig, we are capable to conclude that is the couple is used to being carefree, and they like to phase and `try new drinks`. The largest form of symbolism in the course of this whole story is the symbolism involved with the White Elephants. The white elephants are symbolic of the baby.

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A white elephant is a valuable item that has a rate that perhaps surpasses its usefulness. The White Elephant symbolizes distinctive things for both the man and Jig. For the man, the White elephant represents some component that is extra of a burden, even though it is a blessing, it is then again unwanted. 'They seem like white elephants,' she said. 'I've in no way viewed one,' the man drank his beer` (from the story ) This change of phrases shows that he is now not open to considering the opportunity of maintaining the child and desires the girl to have the abortion operation. For Jig this represents more of the treasured factor of the unborn child. The bamboo curtain is additionally used as a symbol that is used to signify the issues that this couple has due to the possibility of a new life. This is due to the reality that Jig needs the toddler and the man doesn`t, as a result, pregnancy acts as a curtain between them. The story describes this curtain by stating, `Close toward the side of the station there used to be the warm shadow of the building and a curtain, made of strings of bamboo beads, hung at some point of the open door into the bar, to hold out flies. (from the story )

The curtain between the couple looks to turn out to be more and greater of a problem due to the fact 'the female needs the baby, not the abortion, what she says will make no distinction in their relationship and which hypocritically he persists in assuring her he does no longer favor if she objects to it' (Weeks). As Hemingway said, 'Writing is easy, you simply need to take a seat at a typewriter, and bleed.' To me, this quote plausible that you need to be fearless in your writing a write about what you want, besides having to worry about repercussions or what others will suppose about what you are writing about. That is precisely used with the aid Hemingway, did with this story, by way of writing about abortion in a time when abortion used to be such a taboo. I consider that Hemingway completed creating more open thinking in the average being, with the use of his symbolism. He by no means surely makes use of the phrase abortion, and he does not give an opinion as to whether or now not or now not abortion is good. He certainly uses all of his symbolism to nearly provide existence to this unborn child, while additionally conveying the idea that all selections are hard ones, and no longer all picks are made with all of the influences of the determination being wholly on board with what is thought. Hemingway is intentionally very indistinct in his writing and this gives, in addition, that skill to the story by using way of giving it the title 'Hills Like White Elephants' which needs to be interpreted and notion about by way of the reader, therefore which include larger depth to the story in simple terms with the title. Hemingway leaves us with an open ending, however, the symbolism for the duration of the story leaves us with simply sufficient statistics so that we are successful to draw our very very own conclusions.

The symbolism indicates through Jig`s name, the reference to white elephants, and the bamboo beaded curtain in the coach station truly helps to supply meaning and direction to a story that would in any other case be bland and confusing. `Hills Like White Elephants` is no longer `raisin bread` as Hemingway would put it, It aspects Hemingway`s clean, plain-style prose; his `iceberg principle of omitting elements and forcing the reader to decode the story

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Critical Analysis of Symbols in ‘Hills Like White Elephants’. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 14, 2024, from
“Critical Analysis of Symbols in ‘Hills Like White Elephants’.” Edubirdie, 01 Mar. 2023,
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