Analysis of “Hill Like White Elephants” By Hemingway

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“Hills Like White Elephants” written by Ernest Hemingway, is about a man and woman at a train station in the middle of nowhere surrounded by hills and field, it seems like they are a happy couple that’s traveling together but the woman is pregnant and the man wants the woman to have an abortion but the woman does not want to. Throughout the story the man is identified as being an American, the author did not give us any information on where the girl is from but is named “Jig”. While they are at the train station the man ordered two beers, while they are sitting down drinking the girl observed the close by the hill as being similar to a white elephant but the man claims he has never spotted one before. The lives of jig and the American man is very exciting, mysterious and bickering, as jig mentioned they “look at things and try new drinks” the point she’s trying to get across is that she is sick of the way she’s living her life and she wants something new but she believes the only way the man will continue loving her is by getting rid of the baby.

As the two couple sit down and relaxing drinking their “liquorice” drink waiting for the train, the man said, “it’s really an awfully simple operation”(Hemingway et al.) while they weren’t even talking about abortion the conversation the two were having was about how good was the beer but the man feels like jig is forgetting what they were on this trip for so he went on and throw it out there to remind her because in his eyes it seems like she was getting comfortable.

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It’s like the man is scared of how will his life change if he decides to keep the baby, he feels like his freedom will be taken away from him, that’s why when jig said: “We can have the whole world”(Hemingway et al.) and he quickly disagrees with her because he feels like once the baby arrived it will be taken away, all of their time and all the fun things they like to do like traveling because in the middle of the story the author described the man and jig luggage by having multiple labels from all the hotels they visited before. “Like Harold Krebs, in ‘Soldier’s Home’ though without Krebs’s justification, he will continue to seek a life free of consequences” (Wyche et al.).

Jig wants a big change in her life but at the same time, she seems to be desperate for the man’s love because “When the man callously tells the girl that her pregnancy is the only thing which has made them unhappy, the girl, deeply hurt, looks at the bead curtain and takes “hold of two of the strings of beads” (Maynard et al.). That lead her on feeling down upon herself, by saying she’ll do it because she doesn’t care about herself but the way she said it made him feel so guilty for asking her to get rid of the only meaningful thing she will have in her life because she knew deep down he wasn’t going to stay with her. This part of the story gives us a lot of hints on the decision they end up making once they leave and that’s keeping the baby because he said: “I don’t want you to do it if you feel that way” (Hemingway et al.), he manipulates her and then he tries to be fair by letting her have another option which is keeping the baby.

In conclusion, Jig and the American man have an interesting relationship. Jig points out that she is sick of the way her life has played out up to this point and she wants to experience new things. When she becomes pregnant with a child, the American man insists that she has an abortion, but she doesn’t want to do this. This story elaborates on the struggles she faced as a result of this decision. By having this baby Jig believes that’s the only thing that will keep her and the American man relationship happy, but on the other the man believes once the baby comes along everything will change, either way he will end up living her.

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