Professor M. Siraj
September 30, 2018
An examination of conflicts in Hills Like White Elephants
“Hills Like White Elephants” is a short story written by Ernest Hemingway in 1927. The story was taken place at train station when two main character in story, the American and the girl with him waiting for train to Madrid. This short story is not clear what it is about and the writer (Hemingway) is invited the reader to guess what is going on. Most of the characters conversion was secret and not clear because of at that time abortion was illegal to perform. Even if their conversation was secret, throughout the story they are different kinds of conflicts are created through dialogue between two main characters in the story and characters with themselves.
The conversion of two characters American and girl start with the girl question of “What should we drink” (Richard Abcarian, Marvin Klotz, Samuel Cohen). Both of characters talk to each other but it’s easy to see that they are inability to communicate effectively and have conflict. For example, the girl was looking into the hills and said that the hills are looks like white elephant because of the sun shine on hills. When the girl was trying to tell how the hills looks like white elephant the American man replied that he “I’ve never seen one,”(Richard Abcarian, Marvin Klotz, Samuel Cohen) and he continues his drink and trying to ignore her idea. She was mad at him because of his response, and then she changed the subject to try Spanish drink that she never tried. In most of their dialogue they are afraid to talk about exactly what they are going for and trying to deny accept the reality they will face by talking about the weather, beer and trees. They was having beer to hide themselves in it.
After having ordinary conversion at first, they quickly point to the subject of operation by American man trying to convince her by telling her how the operation will be quite simple and not a big deal “It’s really an awful simple operation, Jig. It’s really not anything. Its just to let in the air in.” (Richard Abcarian, Marvin Klotz, Samuel Cohen). He was keep telling her how the operation will be simple, natural, how their relation will be after operation and how having baby will make them unhappy. Even if he was said a lot about the operation the girl was talk barely and her attitude was different with the American, she was afraid to make an operatio.
Another kind of conflict we can noticed in this story characters vs nature. Inside the story the
In story “Hills Like White Elephants” we can also see internal conflict; which characters have conflict with themselves.