American Fiction

The role of dialogues in Hemingway’s fiction.
Earnest Hemingway has always been renowned for his economical and understated writing style. Yet apart from his writing style, his emphasis on the use of dialogues should also be paid attention to, which plays a significant role in Hemingway’s fictions. The significance of the dialogue in his novels can be expressed in the following two   aspects.
Depict psychological state of characters
Different from Proust and Joyce, who used elaborate words to explain the state of mind of their characters, Hemingway reacted against elaborate style and created a new style in which psychological activities were established through dialogues, actions, or even silences, little was stated with elaborate explanations. In his fictions In Another Country, and Hills Like White Elephants, the dialogue plays the major role in depicting the spiritual state of characters. For example, in the following dialogues from Hills Like White Elephants,
“All right. I was trying. I said the mountains looked like white elephants. Wasn’t that bright?”
“That was bright.”
“I wanted to try this new drink. That’s all we do, isn’t it--look at things and try new drinks?”
I guess so.”
“They are lovely hills,” she said. “They don’t really look like white elephants. I just mean the coloring of their skin through the trees.”
“Should we have another drink?”
Considering the whole context, from the above dialogues, readers can to some extent sense the gap between the man and the woman in the fiction. The woman is full of imagination, she wants to have fun in her life. Still if we continue our reading of this story, we will find that the woman, though depressed by the reality, she still entertains hope for the future. The man, however, is different, he is indulged in drinks, obsessed with the abortion idea, his words reflect his spiritual hollowness, which is also representative of the psychological state in the whole society after the war when most people have lost...