A short analysis of Hemingway’s story Essay

“Hills Like White Elephants,” recounts the narrative of a man and a lady drinking lager and anise alcohol while they hold up at a prepare station in Spain. The man is endeavoring to persuade the lady to get a premature birth, however the lady is undecided about it. The story takes its strain from their curt, spiked discourse.

First distributed in 1927, “Hills Like White Elephants” analysis shows that the story embodies Hemingway’s Iceberg theory of composing and is generally anthologized today.

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Otherwise called the “hypothesis of oversight,” Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory fights that the words on the page ought to be only a little piece of the entire story. The words on the page are the famous “hint of a greater challenge,” and an essayist should use as few words as conceivable so as to show the bigger, unwritten story that dwells underneath the surface.

Hemingway clarified that this “hypothesis of exclusion” ought not be utilized as a reason for an author not to know the points of interest behind his or her story.

As he wrote in Death in the Afternoon,

“An essayist who excludes things since he doesn’t have any acquaintance with them just makes empty places in his composition.”

At less than 1,500 words, “Slopes Like White Elephants” represents this hypothesis through its curtness and through the discernible nonappearance of “fetus removal,” despite the fact that that is unmistakably the principle subject of the story. There are additionally a few signs this isn’t the first run through the characters have talked about the issue, for example, when the lady cuts the man off and finishes his sentence in the accompanying trade:

“‘I don’t need you to do anything that you would prefer not to – ‘”
“‘Nor that isn’t beneficial for me,’ she said. ‘I know.’”

In the event that it as of now appears glaringly evident to you that “Slopes Like White Elephants” is a tale about premature birth. Be that as it may, if the story is unfamiliar to you, you may feel less sure about it.

All through the story, unmistakably the man might want the lady to get a task, which he portrays as “dreadfully straightforward,” “flawlessly basic” and “not by any means an activity.” He guarantees to remain with her the entire time and guarantees that they’ll be upbeat a short time later in light of the fact that “that is the main thing that troubles us.”

He never specifies the lady’s wellbeing, so we can accept the task isn’t something to fix a disease. He likewise as often as possible says she doesn’t need to do it on the off chance that she wouldn’t like to, which demonstrates that he’s portraying an elective methodology. At last, he guarantees that it’s “simply to give the air access,” which infers fetus removal as opposed to some other discretionary technique.

At the point when the lady asks, “And you truly need to?” she’s offering a conversation starter that proposes the man has something to do with the issue – that he has something in question – which is another sign that she’s pregnant. Furthermore, his reaction that he’s “impeccably eager to proceed with it on the off chance that it implies anything to you” doesn’t allude to the task – it alludes to not having the activity. On account of pregnancy, not having the premature birth is something “to proceed with” on the grounds that it results in the introduction of a youngster.

At last, the man states that “I don’t need anyone however you. I don’t need any other individual,” which clarifies that there will be “another person” except if the lady has the task.

White Elephants

The imagery of the white elephants additionally stresses the subject of the story.

The birthplace of the expression is regularly followed to a training in Siam (now Thailand) in which a lord would give the endowment of a white elephant on an individual from his court who disappointed him. The white elephant was viewed as hallowed, so at first glance, this blessing was a respect. Be that as it may, keeping up the elephant would be so costly as to demolish the beneficiary. Consequently, a white elephant is a weight.

At the point when the young lady remarks that the slopes look like white elephants and the man says he’s never observed one, she replies, “No, you wouldn’t have.” If the slopes speak to female ripeness, swollen mid-region, and bosoms, she could be proposing that he isn’t the sort of individual ever to deliberately have a kid.

However, in the event that we consider a “white elephant” as an undesirable thing, she could likewise be calling attention to that he never acknowledges troubles he doesn’t need.

Notice the imagery later in the story when he conveys their sacks – secured with marks “from every one of the inns where they had put in evenings” – to the opposite side of the tracks and stores them there while he returns into the bar, alone, to have another drink.

The two conceivable implications of white elephants – female richness and push off things – meet up here on the grounds that, as a man, he will never wind up pregnant himself and can push off the obligation regarding her pregnancy.

“Slopes Like White Elephants” is a rich story that yields all the more every time you read it. Consider the difference between the hot, dry side of the valley and the more prolific “fields of grain.”

You should seriously mull over the imagery of the prepare tracks or the absinthe. You may ask yourself whether the lady will precede with the fetus removal and whether they’ll remain together and whether both of them know the responses to these inquiries yet.


  • Hills Like White Elephants – CliffsNotes | 
  • SparkNotes: Hills Like White Elephants | 
  • Hills Like White Elephants Analysis – Shmoop |

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