Hills Like White Elephants

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

Downloaded 10 times

Is It Black or White? Differing points of view are just an everyday fact of life. Everyone has their own way of seeing things. Some see the glass half full, while others see the glass half empty. Then there is the old cliché is it black or is it white. In the short story "Hills Like White Elephants", Ernest Hemingway contrasts the points of view of two characters of differing gender through opposing opinions about abortions and the way one should live their life.

Hemingway sets this up by paring a man and a woman together who are pregnant, and he starts showing their differing opinions when the girl makes the comment that the hills that she is looking at out the window of the train appear like white elephants on the first page of the story (281). He then responded by saying "I have never seen one."

The woman then retorted, "No, you wouldn't have." Then he says "I might have. Just because you say I wouldn't have doesn't prove anything." Already in the story, from this dialogue alone, it is apparent that they have different ideas about different things. The man shows that he really doesn't want to see things in the same light that the woman does.

Further on the following page, one can see that they still have differing opinions when the subject of what their drinks taste like. The girl states that the drinks taste like licorice. Following that, the man says that everything tastes like licorice. Then it sparks a kind of argument between them until finally the man says "Oh, cut it out". Only for the woman to defensively say that he started it.

Then the two get on the subject of the "procedure". The man tries to convince the woman...