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"Hills Like White Elephants", by Ernest Hemingway

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English 11 Hills Like White Elephants Nico A. The two main characters in the story "Hills Like White Elephants", by Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), are going through a conflict which each character views differently. The conflict at hand is the abortion that the woman is to have. The man sees it as no big deal whilst the woman is terrified of doing something she will have to go through pain for. This story shows the masking of the man's egoism and the efforts of the woman to please her companion in life. The man tries to distract the woman's thoughts by buying her drinks and discussing with her things completely irrelevant to the surgery in order to keep her mind focused in a way in which he can reach his goal, that of not bringing their baby to the world. ...read more.


It is unfortunate for the woman that the man fails to see that there is far more psychological pain for her to go through. It is, after all, a baby she is requested not to have. It is unknown what the previous plans for this baby might have been. Maybe the couple was looking forward to it-- to the new sense of responsibility and to the new bond forming between them. The girl is most likely very devastated to have the operation and all the man talks to her about is things to keep her mind off it. He buys her drinks to enhance her thinking and not have her believe that he is very selfish in the whole matter. ...read more.


She comforts him, which is one thing about this short story which is terribly wrong, instead of him comforting her. She tells him that everything will be ok, and she will do it so that he will be happy. However, in that way she tells him "I hope you realize what you are putting me through, and that this is all for you and to please what you want.". The man gives her reasons why this baby should not be brought to the world. " That's (the baby) the only thing that's bothering us. It's the only thing that's made us unhappy. We'll be fine after. Just like we were before." Little does he realize, he is the reason for the couple's distress. The woman, Jig, is going through such a crisis because her husband is forcing her to do something she is, in a way, striving against. ...read more.

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