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Hills Like WHite Elephants


            In the short story "Hills Like White Elephants," Ernest Hemingway uses many literary elements to create the tone of the story. The use of irony, theme, setting, point of view, and dialogue help the reader to understand all aspects of this story.
             The story is written in objective narration. This means there is no real narrator and the story tells itself through the dialogue and actions of the characters. Hemingway uses the dialogue of a man and woman to slowly reveal an argument over abortion. The dialogue of the man shows he is very much for the abortion. He does keep assuring the girl that it's only if she wants it, but also keeps pushing it on her by saying it's a very simple operation.
             The setting plays a vital role in the importance of this story. The story seems to be set in the 1920's. During this time period abortion was a very taboo subject. This type of surgery really was not prevalent due to a stronger sense of family and the high medical risk associated with it. The story also takes place at a train terminal where the young couple is waiting to continue on what seems like an around the world party. Hemingway shows this fact by referencing all the labels on their luggage from the hotels they had spent nights at. .
             I don't really see too much of irony in this story. I guess there might be sense of in the case of the woman. The timing of this pregnancy is really undesirable but as the woman thinks about it the pregnancy itself becomes desirable to her.
             This overall theme of abortion in the story shows the different perspectives between the men and women on the subject of abortion. Since the story is written in objective point of view the narrator give no real opinion. The reader himself forms an opinion on the conversation of the characters and whatever their own views and values may be. Hemingway never actually uses the word abortion in his story; he just uses the symbolism and the dialogue to get this point out.


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