Theme and Narrative Elements in a Short Story

Theme and narrative elements in the short story: Dilemmas in True Love

Dilemmas in True Love

    ENG 125 Amy Hartman
    April 25, 2011

In the short story, Hills like White Elephants by: Ernest Hemingway, we see a man and a woman who are faced with a dilemma of whether or not to have the child they have conceived.   Throughout the story, we see how indecisive they are.   However, it is clear that they are in love.   They seem to not be ready to welcome such a huge responsibility into their lives, but their love for each other can have the power to alter that decision.   In this story even though it was not directly stated, through setting and symbolism we can deduct that the couple in the story are being faced with the decision of whether or not to have an abortion.   Furthermore, we can perceive that in true love and via honest communication, any type of situation can be resolved.

Ernest Hemingway (1927) begins the story by saying, “The hills across the valley of the Ebro were long and white. On this side there was no shade and no trees and the station was between two lines of rails in the sun. Close against the side of the station there was the warm shadow of the building and a curtain, made of strings of bamboo beads, hung across the open door into the bar, to keep out flies. The American and the girl with him sat at a table in the shade, outside the building. It was very hot and the express from Barcelona would come in forty minutes. It stopped at this junction for two minutes and went to Madrid.” (Chapter 7) The setting which is on a train station in Spain has a lot to do with the story, since it is mainly where it takes place.   Here is where the girl admires the scenery and compares it to white elephants, which is a large contribution to the significance of the story.   The white hills symbolize her pregnancy that is in essence unwanted. They are addressing the situation and deciding of whether or not to have an abortion.   Ernest Hemingway (1927)...