Feminist Analysis of "Hills Like White Elephants"

Topics: Alcoholic beverage, Drink, Coffee Pages: 2 (729 words) Published: April 5, 2013
Elizabeth Montelongo
Mrs. Haag
English 1302
07 March 2013
In the short story “Hills Like White Elephants” written by Ernest Hemmingway, a short conversation between a young woman and her significant other about her recent pregnancy and possible abortion are described. The young man, identified as the American, is the epitome of masculinity with his rugged portrayal and his apparent control over himself and the matters at hand. When confused, the American still feigns indifference and maintains his cool in order to keep control of the situation and attacks problems head on in order to attempt to find a solution. Because he finds himself to be the more reasonable and knowledgeable of the two, the young man constantly patronizes his significant other and does not provide the emotional stability that she needs during this crisis. The young woman in the story who is known as “Jig” is very submissive and less assertive when compared to the strong masculine character of the American. The girl constantly changes her mind about the situation and seems helpless without aide from her boyfriend, which causes her to adhere to a more feminine stereotype in which the woman is the weaker gender in comparison to the male figure. As the story progresses, however, the Jig starts to take an active feminist role as she realizes the importance of her own opinion concerning her abortion.

From the beginning of the passage, the dependence that Jig has on the American is highlighted throughout their dialogue. While sitting at tables outside of a train station waiting for a train to Madrid, the couple takes part in a seemingly dry and drawn out conversation that is un-meaningful and detached. In order to pass the uncomfortable silence that is at first present between the two, the man orders beers for both of them and begins to make small talk. After making an observation stating that the hills that surrounded them appeared to look like “white elephants”, Jig is then met...

Cited: Hemingway, Ernest. “Hills Like White Elephants”. Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. 7th ed. Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010. 171-175. Print.
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