Alice, a pound, unpleasant prostitute struggles with her current life. This wishful illusion arises from a complex she has because of her ugly and unpleasant appearance. Nick Adams, the main Hemingway character, believes that Alice, although she has really given up her life, still has the chance to change and live a happy life. Hoffman interpreted the word in an Essay he wrote.
They drink beer as well as two licorice-tasting anis drinks, and finally more beer, sitting in the hot shade and discussing what the American man says will be "a simple operation" for the girl. The tension between the two is almost as sizzling as the heat of the Spanish sun.
However, he clearly is insisting that she do so. The girl is trying to be brave and nonchalant but is clearly frightened of committing herself to having the operation. She tosses out a conversational, fanciful figure of speech — noting that the hills beyond the train station "look like white elephants" — hoping that the figure of speech will please the man, but he resents her ploy.
Nothing has been solved. The tension remains, coiled and tight, as they prepare to leave for Madrid.
Analysis This story was rejected by early editors and was ignored by anthologists until recently. The early editors returned it because they thought that it was a "sketch" or an "anecdote," not a short story.
At the time, editors tried to second-guess what the reading public wanted, and, first, they felt as though they had to buy stories that told stories, that had plots. In part, some of the early rejection of this story lies in the fact that none of the editors who read it had any idea what was going on in the story.
Even today, most readers are still puzzled by the story. Early objections to this story also cited the fact that there are no traditional characterizations. The female is referred to simply as "the girl," and the male is simply called "the man. Unlike traditional stories, wherein the author usually gives us some clues about what the main characters look like, sound like, or dress like, here we know nothing about "the man" or "the girl.
Can we, however, assume something about them — for example, is "the man" somewhat older and "the girl" perhaps younger, maybe eighteen or nineteen? One reason for assuming this bare-bones guesswork lies in tone of "the girl. It is a wonder that this story was published at all.
When it was written, authors were expected to guide readers through a story. Compare this narrative technique to the traditional nineteenth-century method of telling a story. Then, such authors as Dickens or Trollope would often address their readers directly. Had Hemingway said that the girl, for example, spoke "sarcastically," or "bitterly," or "angrily," or that she was "puzzled" or "indifferent," or if we were told that the man spoke with "an air of superiority," we could more easily come to terms with these characters.
Instead, Hemingway so removes himself from them and their actions that it seems as though he himself knows little about them. Only by sheer accident, it seems, is the girl nicknamed "Jig. We have no clear ideas about the nature of the discussion abortionand yet the dialogue does convey everything that we conclude about the characters.
He presents only the conversation between them and allows his readers to draw their own conclusions. Thus readers probably assume that these two people are not married; however, if we are interested enough to speculate about them, we must ask ourselves how marriage would affect their lives.
And to answer this question, we must make note of one of the few details in the story: Their luggage has "labels on them from all the hotels where they had spent nights. Given their seemingly free style of living and their relish for freedom, a baby and a marriage would impose great changes in their lives.
Everything in the story indicates that the man definitely wants the girl to have an abortion. Even when the man maintains that he wants the girl to have an abortion only if she wants to have one, we question his sincerity and his honesty.
On the other hand, we feel that the girl is not at all sure that she wants an abortion. We sense that she is tired of traveling, of letting the man make all the decisions, of allowing the man to talk incessantly until he convinces her that his way is the right way.
He has become her guide and her guardian. He translates for her, even now: Abortion involves only a doctor allowing "a little air in. However, for the girl, this life of being ever in flux, living in hotels, traveling, and never settling down has become wearying.
Their life of transience, of instability, is described by the girl as living on the surface: The man is using his logic in order to be as persuasive as possible.
Without a baby anchoring them down, they can continue to travel; they can "have everything. With or without the abortion, things will never be the same. She also realizes that she is not loved, at least not unconditionally.
Thus we come to the title of the story.Summary. Harry, a writer, and his wife, Helen, are stranded while on safari in Africa. A bearing burned out on their truck, and Harry is talking about the gangrene that has infected his leg when he did not apply iodine after he scratched it.
Complete summary of Ernest Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Hills Like White Elephants.
Summary (Comprehensive Guide to Short. The girl was looking off at the line of hills. They were white in the sun and the This short story from Hemingway’s collection Men Hills Like White Elephants. Download-Theses Mercredi 10 juin A short summary of Ernest Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants.
This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of Hills Like White Elephants. "Hills Like White Elephants" does not tell a story in a traditional manner, and it has no plot. In part, some of the early rejection of this story lies in the fact that none of the editors who read it had any idea what was going on in the story.