Life Choices Like White Elephants

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Updated: Apr 08, 2021
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“Life is about making difficult choices that can or may affect your whole life. In this short story “Hills like White Elephants”, written in 1927 there are several themes that were used to help readers understand the story better. Hemingway used several symbols to help develop the themes of Conflict, Responsibilities, and Communication.

Hemingway uses several symbols that helped to develop the theme of conflict. One symbol Hemingway used was the hills to show conflict and the white elephants represented that the couple was faced with a huge conflict. The America man and jig or faced with the decision to abort their unborn child. It appears that the couple has aseed on a decision but later jig starts to question the decision “And you think then we’ll be all right and happy” (52). Hemingway also used the train station as a symbol. The train station was a symbol of making a decision between aborting the child and not aborting the child no matter the outcome. Jig understood that setting on the train was a choice between life of a child and death of a child. But seems that jig had a change of heart and wants to keep the baby but doesn’t want her decision to change her relationship. The American man understood that getting on the train meant that they would abort the child and life world go on for him.

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Hemingway used the theme of responsibility to develop the story. The America man does not want to settle down and take responsibility for a family, so he continues to push jig to rehanged the decision of aborting the child “Of course it dose. But I don’t want anybody but you. I don’t want anyone else. And I know it’s perfectly simple” (93). The America man did not care about how jig felt. The train ride will go between Barron unrecognized lands and fertile lands the couple rode to their finally destination to get destroy the growing of a child they had made their decision.

The theme of communication was used in Hemingway’s story “HLWE”, to show the Communication between the characters. The girl jig is a young girl and the America seems to be older and more experienced. A child would change the life style of the America and he did not want those responsibilities. He did not force Jig, but he used terms to convince her that his choice was the best choice. Also Hemingway used the words such as, “It’s perfectly simple,” to show that the America man tried to make light of the choice to abort the child, which helped to develop the theme of communication. Jig wants to keep the child and questions whether it will change the relationship. Jig is an innocent young girl who bases her choice off the effects it will have on the American. Jig doesn’t care about what makes her happy, but what makes the other happy and retreats to his decision and his happiness. “I feel fine,” she said. “There’s nothing wrong with me. I feel fine.” (110)

Life is full of choices and decision. Some people will choose to make their choices and decisions based on how it will affect them rather than how it will affect others. Hemingway used the themes of Conflict, Responsibilities and Communication to show how difficult it could be in making a final decision. White Elephants are usually present when making a big decision or when it’s like someone in the same room as you.”

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Life Choices Like White Elephants. (2021, Apr 08). Retrieved from