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Hills Like White Elephants Complete Story
Posted By Lateef On August 29, 2007 @ 8:51 am In Uncategorized | 116 Comments

Click here to see the Literary Analysis for ‘Hills Like White Elephants’

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Hills Like White Elephants
By Ernest Hemingway 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. ‘What should we drink?’ the girl asked. She had taken off her hat and put it on the table. ‘It’s pretty hot,’ the man said. ‘Let’s drink beer.’ ‘Dos cervezas,’ the man said into the curtain. ‘Big ones?’ a woman asked from the doorway. ‘Yes. Two big ones.’ The woman brought two glasses of beer and two felt pads. She put the felt pads and the beer glass on the table and looked at the man and the girl. The girl was looking off at the line of hills. They were white in the sun and the country was brown ‘They look like white elephants,’ she said. ‘I’ve never seen one,’ the man drank his beer. ‘No, you wouldn’t have.’ ‘I might have,’ the man said. ‘Just because you say I wouldn’t have doesn’t prove anything.’ The girl looked at the bead curtain. ‘They’ve painted something on it,’ she said. ‘What does it say?’ ‘Anis del Toro. It’s a drink.’ ‘Could we try it?’ The man called ‘Listen’ through the curtain. The woman came out from the bar. ‘Four reales.’ ‘We want two Anis del Toro.’ ‘With water?’
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and dry.

‘Do you want it with water?’ ‘I don’t know,’ the girl said. ‘Is it good with water?’ ‘It’s all right.’ ‘You want them with water?’ asked the woman. ‘Yes, with water.’ ‘It tastes like liquorice,’ the girl said and put the glass down. ‘That’s the way with everything.’ ‘Yes,’ said the girl. ‘Everything tastes of liquorice. Especially all the things you’ve waited so long for, like absinthe.’ ‘Oh, cut it out.’ ‘You started it,’ the girl said. ‘I was being amused. I was having a fine time.’ ‘Well, let’s try and have a fine time.’ ‘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.’ The girl looked across at the hills. ‘They’re lovely hills,’ she said. ‘They don’t really look like white elephants. I just meant the colouring of their skin through the trees.’ ‘Should we have another drink?’ ‘All right.’ The warm wind blew the bead curtain against the table. ‘The beer’s nice and cool,’ the man said. ‘It’s lovely,’ the girl said. ‘It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig,’ the man said. ‘It’s not really an operation at all.’ The girl looked at the ground the table legs rested on. ‘I know you wouldn’t mind it, Jig. It’s really not anything. It’s just to let the air in.’ The girl did not say anything. ‘I’ll go with you and I’ll stay with you all the time. They just let the air in and then it’s all perfectly natural.’ ‘Then what will we do afterwards?’ ‘We’ll be fine afterwards. Just like we were before.’ ‘What makes you think so?’

‘That’s the only thing that bothers us. It’s the only thing that’s made us unhappy.’ The girl looked at the bead curtain, put her hand out and took hold of two of the strings of beads. ‘And you think then we’ll be all right and be happy.’ ‘I know we will. Yon don’t have to be afraid. I’ve known lots of people that have done it.’ ‘So have I,’ said the girl. ‘And afterwards they were all so happy.’ ‘Well,’ the man said, ‘if you don’t want to you don’t have to. I wouldn’t have you do it if you didn’t want to. But I know it’s perfectly simple.’ ‘And you really want to?’ ‘I think it’s the best thing to do. But I don’t want you to do it if you don’t really want to.’ ‘And if I do it you’ll be happy and things will be like they were and you’ll love me?’ ‘I love you now. You know I love you.’ ‘I know. But if I do it, then it will be nice again if I say things are like white elephants, and you’ll like it?’ ‘I’ll love it. I love it now but I just can’t think about it. You know how I get when I worry.’ ‘If I do it you won’t ever worry?’ ‘I won’t worry about that because it’s perfectly simple.’ ‘Then I’ll do it. Because I don’t care about me.’ ‘What do you mean?’ ‘I don’t care about me.’ ‘Well, I care about you.’ ‘Oh, yes. But I don’t care about me. And I’ll do it and then everything will be fine.’ ‘I don’t want you to do it if you feel that way.’ The girl stood up and walked to the end of the station. Across, on the other side, were fields of grain and trees along the banks of the Ebro. Far away, beyond the river, were mountains. The shadow of a cloud moved across the field of grain and she saw the river through the trees. ‘And we could have all this,’ she said. ‘And we could have everything and every day we make it more impossible.’ ‘What did you say?’ ‘I said we could have everything.’ ‘We can have everything.’ ‘No, we can’t.’ ‘We can have the whole world.’ ‘No, we can’t.’ ‘We can go everywhere.’

‘No, we can’t. It isn’t ours any more.’ ‘It’s ours.’ ‘No, it isn’t. And once they take it away, you never get it back.’ ‘But they haven’t taken it away.’ ‘We’ll wait and see.’ ‘Come on back in the shade,’ he said. ‘You mustn’t feel that way.’ ‘I don’t feel any way,’ the girl said. ‘I just know things.’ ‘I don’t want you to do anything that you don’t want to do -’ ‘Nor that isn’t good for me,’ she said. ‘I know. Could we have another beer?’ ‘All right. But you’ve got to realize – ‘ ‘I realize,’ the girl said. ‘Can’t we maybe stop talking?’ They sat down at the table and the girl looked across at the hills on the dry side of the valley and the man looked at her and at the table. ‘You’ve got to realize,’ he said, ‘ that I don’t want you to do it if you don’t want to. I’m perfectly willing to go through with it if it means anything to you.’ ‘Doesn’t it mean anything to you? We could get along.’ ‘Of course it does. But I don’t want anybody but you. I don’t want anyone else. And I know it’s perfectly simple.’ ‘Yes, you know it’s perfectly simple.’ ‘It’s all right for you to say that, but I do know it.’ ‘Would you do something for me now?’ ‘I’d do anything for you.’ ‘Would you please please please please please please please stop talking?’ He did not say anything but looked at the bags against the wall of the station. There were labels on them from all the hotels where they had spent nights. ‘But I don’t want you to,’ he said, ‘I don’t care anything about it.’ ‘I’ll scream,’ the girl siad. The woman came out through the curtains with two glasses of beer and put them down on the damp felt pads. ‘The train comes in five minutes,’ she said. ‘What did she say?’ asked the girl. ‘That the train is coming in five minutes.’ The girl smiled brightly at the woman, to thank her. ‘I’d better take the bags over to the other side of the station,’ the man said. She smiled at him. ‘All right. Then come back and we’ll finish the beer.’

He picked up the two heavy bags and carried them around the station to the other tracks. He looked up the tracks but could not see the train. Coming back, he walked through the bar-room, where people waiting for the train were drinking. He drank an Anis at the bar and looked at the people. They were all waiting reasonably for the train. He went out through the bead curtain. She was sitting at the table and smiled at him. ‘Do you feel better?’ he asked. ‘I feel fine,’ she said. ‘There’s nothing wrong with me. I feel fine.’ Share on Facebook
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116 Comments To "Hills Like White Elephants Complete Story"
#1 Comment By Stella Lopez On October 4, 2007 @ 10:01 am there is a line spken by the American man which changes the whole meaning of the story. My students have been quite confused because of this error. Please make the correction.The line is spoken by the man after Jill says: “I said we could have everithing.” Then the American says: “We can have everything.” ‘And we could have all this,’ she said. ‘And we could have everything and every day we make it more impossible.’ ‘What did you say?’ ‘I said we could have everything.’ ‘No, we can’t.’ ‘We can have the whole world.’ ‘No, we can’t.’ ‘We can go everywhere.’ ‘No, we can’t. It isn’t ours any more.’ ‘It’s ours.’ ‘No, it isn’t. And once they take it away, you never get it back.’ ‘But they haven’t taken it away.’ ‘We’ll wait and see.’ ‘Come on back in the shade,’ he said. ‘You mustn’t feel that way.’ #2 Comment By Machete Editor On October 4, 2007 @ 4:08 pm Thanks Stella – The Story is now 100% correct. #3 Comment By Stephannie On October 9, 2007 @ 3:26 am

Stella, FYI the name of the character is Jig not Jill. #4 Comment By Ian Rañosa On February 10, 2008 @ 4:05 am thanks this site helped me a lot…:) #5 Comment By Kyle On April 22, 2008 @ 8:17 pm Helped alot. thanks it helps once you think in a different way and take a step closer and really get into the story and each little problem that comes into play. like at first the two tracks ment nothing to me just some info that was un-needed but then i realized that it is two choices that they dont’t know which way to go either to Barcelona or madrid, but the country names dont matter its to keep the baby or get abortion. once again, Thanks! #6 Comment By Yesenia On June 11, 2008 @ 10:12 pm This helped out so much!!! #7 Pingback By Hills Like White Elephants – Literary Analysis – Ernest Hemmingway | Machete – The Blog On September 30, 2008 @ 8:36 pm [...] Click Here to Read the Full Online Text of Hills Like White Elephants � This is an in-depth analysis of Hills Like White Elephants on the Virginia Community College [...] #8 Comment By MARI On October 16, 2008 @ 3:04 pm AT FIRST I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND THE STORY, BUT AFTER READING KYLE’S COMMENT AND THE LITERARY ANALYSIS I UNDERTOOD IT PERFECTLY. SO THANKS! #9 Comment By Jim Owens On January 22, 2009 @ 12:07 am On the bookmark link Hemingway is spelled Hemmingway. One too many m’s. Just thought you’d want to know…. #10 Pingback By Hills Like White Elephants « Letsjusteatcheese On February 2, 2009 @ 10:12 am [...] Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway [...] #11 Comment By ouhssini On March 12, 2009 @ 9:35 am

it’s a wonderful job. thanks for this information, it is so very understood either for taking notes or just for enjoyment… #12 Pingback By Teaching the Iceberg Theory « A Patchwork Life: writing, teaching, and learning more each day On March 16, 2009 @ 6:14 pm [...] after giving them Hills Like White Elephants and after they’ve read it and discussed it for awhile, they could chart out the peaks of the [...] #13 Comment By Aaron On March 25, 2009 @ 8:03 pm THIS STORY SUCKS!!! #14 Pingback By Wiki Find #1: “Iceberg Theory” « Year of the Perdue WonderChicken On April 6, 2009 @ 2:38 pm [...] “Hills Like White Elephants”, which is a great story and if you haven’t read it, click here. I don’t want to ruin what is spoken but never said here, but it rhymes with [...] #15 Comment By mary On April 7, 2009 @ 8:43 am I really like this story. The last line ‘I feel fine,’ she said. ‘There’s nothing wrong with me. I feel fine.’ I think that this line could be taken in so many different directions that I do not think this story really had resolution. #16 Comment By rebecca On May 20, 2009 @ 7:44 am this story is really amazing. i feel her pain on a very deep level. it’s raw and true and just a little bit scary. ernest hemmingway is amazing and this story is beautiful. #17 Comment By s0763254 On May 25, 2009 @ 9:45 pm inspirational #18 Comment By stincos On May 27, 2009 @ 11:46 am good, great choice of words. if you take out a line in this story, everything is ruined. my favorite line: “we can have the world” #19 Comment By guash On July 7, 2009 @ 11:19 pm hills… is one of the best hemingways storys. tnx alot. #20 Comment By Klement Tinaj On July 10, 2009 @ 3:57 pm

This story was amazing, just like my poem. All my friends liked it and felt it. #21 Comment By tannya On July 21, 2009 @ 1:40 pm i dont understand this poem #22 Comment By tannya On July 21, 2009 @ 1:40 pm or story rather #23 Comment By wollschlaeger.hillel On August 24, 2009 @ 5:29 pm I really like how Hemingway incorporated dialogue into this short story. It allowed the reader to gain insight on the personalities of the main characters. And can someone please clarify what the operation the speakers in the stories were referring to? My friends and I read this story but we couldn’t quite figure out what it was. #24 Comment By BirmaherHillel On August 24, 2009 @ 7:33 pm I read this story today in class. Honestly I didn’t much care for the story. I didn’t like how it became very annoying because we don’t know what is being argued about between the characters in the story. I understand that it adds a certain mysterious aspect to the story but I still don’t like how we don’t really know what it’s about. I also did not like how they continued to argue in the dialogue for so long back and fourth and made no progress. I felt as though it was just a lot of repetition and kind of pointless. This is just my honest opinion. #25 Comment By Salomon Gicherman -Hillel On August 24, 2009 @ 8:37 pm The short story by Hemmingway is a brillint short story that is based on a typical subject of human socity. The conflict between love and work and convincing other people to go with your ideas. #26 Comment By Prizant.hillel On August 24, 2009 @ 8:38 pm I too read this story in class today and found it difficult to understand the content. I also would have appreciated more information of the setting in which the story takes place. Despite all this i still think Hemmingway is a great author and writer. #27 Comment By Salomon Gicherman -Hillel On August 24, 2009 @ 8:40 pm

This is one of Hemmingways’s most powerfull short stories studied and read by the world. I can see to understand way. a short story so simple that discride something of everyday sociaety the conflict between love and work and convincing people to go with your ideas. #28 Comment By Furrer.Hillel On August 25, 2009 @ 7:31 pm I do believe Hemmingway is an amazing auhtor,Although i had trouble understanding what he was aiming for and what the story was mainly about. I do like the dialogue the characters showed in this story #29 Comment By Goldhillel On August 26, 2009 @ 8:38 am i find that the key characterization in the story is of the girl;it is that she is just that, a girl. He is the alpha male man, pushing her to the operation and convincing her its not a big deal, he is the Man, while she is nothing but a girl. She is the innocent, confused, impressionable child willing to do everything for her companion. #30 Comment By Danielle Polikar Hillel On August 26, 2009 @ 5:06 pm I enjoyed reading this story by Hemingway. His unique choice of symbolism was very interesting to observe. At first I didn’t quite understand what the characters were referring to, but after rereading the text, I picked up some quotes that implied Jig was getting an abortion. For example “It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig. It’s not really an operation at all.” Hemingway’s style of writing challenges the reader to really observe the text and look for hidden clues as to what this story implies. #31 Comment By SAIOVICI DEBBIE On August 26, 2009 @ 5:47 pm I read this short story a few days ago in class and didn’t really understand it. Today we went over it in class and I thought it was brilliant. The way that Hemingway gives us the readers such little information but so much can be derived from it is genius. I truly believe this has been one of the greatest short stories i have ever read. Another thing i appreciated a lot was the symbolism used by the author in order to give us information in a non direct way. The title for instance has great symbolism as do the curtains mentioned in the story and the landscapes. Brilliant #32 Comment By SAIOVICI DEBBIE HILLEL PD.C On August 26, 2009 @ 5:48 pm I read this short story a few days ago in class and didn’t really understand it. Today we went over it in class and I thought it was brilliant. The way that Hemingway gives us the readers such little information but so much can be derived from it is genius. I truly believe this has been one of the greatest short stories i have ever read. Another thing i appreciated a lot was the symbolism used by the author in order to give us information in a non direct way. The title for instance has great symbolism as do the curtains mentioned in the story and the landscapes. Brilliant #33 Comment By Makover.Hillel PD C On August 26, 2009 @ 7:36 pm I thought that this wasa great story. It was really opened ended as the two main characters sort of danced around what they were exactly talking about. When i read it the first time i had no

idea what they was going on. But after rereading it a few times i nitced some of the symbolism and started to pick up hints, such casual hints, such as the girl looking away when asked about the operation, that Hemingway drops in the course of the story. Overall, I thought it was very cleverly written and trukly is a great story. #34 Comment By Nate Rubin On August 26, 2009 @ 8:19 pm This short story was unlike any other I have read before. I really liked how Hemingway gave us a lot of information through symbolic meaning rather than just outright saying it. When the story talks about the operation, you must look back into the story and figure out the clues, such as the tension between the two and the wishful thinking about what could possibly be the future in order to understand that she is having an abortion. Hemingway did not really tell the story. Rather he let us figure it out for ourselves. What I really enjoyed about this story is how there is no clear cut ending. The reader does not know what takes place in the end and it is open to interpretation. This story was well written and had a unique style, one I have not seen before. #35 Comment By Pogue-Hillel On August 27, 2009 @ 7:20 am Great comments Hillel crew. I’m happy to see how many of you took this opportunity to voice your opinions. Great points about symbolism and characterization. Food for thought: What can we infer about Hemmingway from his treatment of the subject matter and characters in this particular story? We’ll continue to explore this question… #36 Comment By Lateef On September 1, 2009 @ 11:20 am These last few comments are fantastic observations – I do invite you to read through my own literary analysis, which I have posted on this very website:
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#37 Comment By lene On September 2, 2009 @ 4:46 am I really enjoyd reading this story but one thing I do not get is why she drinks while she is pregnant!? I meen that is just so irresponsible, isn’t it? #38 Comment By alex escott On September 11, 2009 @ 11:59 am i kept waiting to get kicked in the face with what the operation was had to read it a few times to realize it was an aportion. to lene’s coments firt of all its pretty clear she is going to do whatever her man wants so she mind as well drink, secound of all, the story takes place in the 20’s they just dont have the facts we have the benifte of today. i was struck early on by hemingways use of the line “The American and the with him” i hemingway was known as a drunk abusive man with no respect for women right? evan though he trys to make the chouse the s i dont belive it is #39 Comment By dont matter ha On September 21, 2009 @ 11:19 am this is a dumb story

#40 Comment By Tina Newton On September 26, 2009 @ 8:34 pm abortion?? if u say so well which critical analysis approach could best be used with this story? #41 Comment By alex escott On September 26, 2009 @ 8:39 pm yes abourtion what do you thinck it is? #42 Comment By alex escott On September 26, 2009 @ 8:40 pm sorry abortion its to late to be doing homwork #43 Comment By Tina Newton On September 27, 2009 @ 1:15 pm un Alex, you could just go do something else #44 Comment By aiun On October 23, 2009 @ 10:46 pm this is my homework…. intimate language.. #45 Comment By rita On November 9, 2009 @ 10:22 pm why do they go to Madrid? To get an abortion? #46 Comment By danielle On November 20, 2009 @ 12:05 pm Well, he describes their luggage: “There were labels on them from all the hotels where they had spent nights.” It sounds to me that they maybe are together traveling, exploring different places, and then this happened, and the American really doesnt want to stop this lifestyle, he enjoys it. With Jig being with child, he sees it as the end to his travels and explorations. So, to better answer that, I don’t think that they went to Spain to have the abortion, but that they might have found out on the way to one of their destinations, so they found a location to ‘get it taken care of’ on route to where it is that they might be traveling/visiting. Also I’m not sure if anyone took the time to look up what Jig means, I looked it up. There were a lot of definitions, but one that caught my eye in relating to this story were an old fashioned slang used to describe a good time. Could that be what the American thought Jig? It seems so. #47 Comment By Teller On January 25, 2010 @ 11:15 pm There is a song called “Hills Like White Elephants” at the above website… #48 Pingback By The Arts: On Writing and Publishing – 100 Days (Or Less) Part Fourteen:Day Nine On February 18, 2010 @ 8:22 am

[...] You can also have the Objective Point of View. Here the writer (you!) tells what is happening through the story’s action or what the characters say, but never tells what the characters are thinking. As a writer, you are simply an observer. This is best for a story that is mostly action and dialogue. Take a look at Hemingway’s short story, “Hills Like White Elephants” for a good example of this direct observer. You can find it as:
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#49 Comment By Jess On February 19, 2010 @ 1:21 pm I guess I’m tired, but I really didn’t appreciate the “symbolism” and being given “so much information in an indirect way”. Just tell me what the heck you’re talking about, and give me dialogue that isn’t so difficult to follow. I didn’t like this story, and I *am* an educated person. #50 Pingback By Best of 2009 « Rae Bryant On February 23, 2010 @ 9:59 am [...] with the additional cringe at my own appreciation of Hemingway’s manly manness, but “Hills Like White Elephants” is sublime as is The Sun Also Rises. Gertrude Stein is rolling in her grave. Sorry [...] #51 Comment By It’s not hard On February 24, 2010 @ 8:22 pm SHE KEEPS THE BABY #52 Comment By ashwini On March 8, 2010 @ 6:11 am it was nice, b coz our sir was not giving us notes ..it helped me a lot.. #53 Comment By Shayron On March 30, 2010 @ 9:26 am I’ve read this story twice now, and the conversation can be taken a couple of different ways beside abortion. At first glance I thought they were running away to elope and our girl Jig was getting cold feet hence the drinking. Then I thought why would they be running away together in the first place? That got my mind wandering was because she’s so much younger? Or not as wealthy? Or maybe even not the right nationality? Abortion never really dawned on me until the class discussion but after reading the story again I can see that being the case. Hemingway was truly a very brillant writer. #54 Comment By sola plexus On April 15, 2010 @ 5:48 pm The very first time i read the story, i didn’t get it. the second, a few pieces started to fit together and make sense. the third was the same. now the fourth time, I finally understood everything, and the whole story was no longer a good story, but a magnificient story. i truly find this to be un my top ten favourite short stories #55 Comment By Phil On May 9, 2010 @ 10:41 am

Its not correct. Towards the last few paragraphs it says “siad” no “said” #56 Comment By David On May 10, 2010 @ 9:19 pm OMFG! STUPID STORY~! I would give this a 0 out of 10. I don get shit. Its so fucking stupid! Like holy shit! Get to the point already. Its confusing you from everywhere. I want a simple story that can be easily understood! I dont want no stupid sotry that wastes my 20mins just to understand the basics! FAIL STORY! NOT RECOMMENDED TO ANYONE! #57 Comment By RUDEBOY On May 11, 2010 @ 10:03 am This is a dumb stupid story ! 1 ! #58 Comment By Chris On May 16, 2010 @ 3:43 pm Wow David, you r a stupid ignorant fuck. Your not smart enough to understand the story, just go read a pop book you dumb ass. Rudeboy your an idiot too. No intelligence at all. #59 Comment By Edward On May 18, 2010 @ 5:02 am @danielle: Thank you for a mighty fine explanation of this short story. You brought a much more detailed insight of the story that I could not picture. I was also curious about Jig, but only heard of this story today and have a paper due tomorrow. Thank you for your assistance #60 Comment By Vendela On May 21, 2010 @ 1:01 am It could be interpreted like abortion, but I saw it as if she couldn’t get pregnant at all, and that she was going to get “help” for this in an awkward way. I don’t know. It can be interpreted in many ways, and I love that. =) #61 Pingback By Short Stories | the detritus of past civilizations On May 29, 2010 @ 2:22 pm [...] Plus, sometimes, they’re just frickin’ awesome. [...] #62 Comment By Earl Gregory On June 15, 2010 @ 3:30 pm David, you don’t get it because you are an idiot. Stick to comic books. #63 Comment By Joyce On June 25, 2010 @ 2:00 am Joyce, Fan of Hemingway from China. Thanks a lot. #64 Comment By julian On June 25, 2010 @ 9:25 pm

i thought he was trying to get her to take an acid tablet. haha #65 Pingback By Hemingway, Jobs, and Prince: Computers are Useless On July 6, 2010 @ 11:54 am [...] I’d love to know how many people out of the 24 comprehended the story at all. I imagine the questions were more along the lines of, “who wrote this story?” than, “where in Africa can you get an abortion?” [...] #66 Comment By gerlie On July 10, 2010 @ 7:31 am i wished i need no external info that the operation refers to abortion. A good story must expose the story within the story… does the hill like white elephant refers to bulging belly of a woman suggesting pregnancy? I wished there was a stronger allusion. at any rate, i liked how the feelings of the girl has been capsulized: saying she’s fine but not really as part of her knows that if she refuses abortion, she’ll not be loved the same way, that her man will not see beauty anymore… #67 Pingback By Prose Exercise 2: Finding the Drama in Daily Life | Find The Inner Writer On July 12, 2010 @ 5:57 am [...] This writing exercise is based on the famous story Hills Like White Elephants, by Ernest Hemingway. I remember being taught that story in college. My writing teacher compared the story to an arctic glacier. You can only see the top portion of the glacier that is sticking out of the water, but that’s usually only 20% of the glacier. The other 80% are under the surface, and the storyteller’s job is to explicitly show the 20% percent, while inexplicitly referring to the other 80%. I recommend reading Memingway’s story before starting your own writing exercise. He did a much better job than I ever could.
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#68 Comment By mhel On August 5, 2010 @ 12:07 am watta beautiful story….. wow….. #69 Comment By Greg On August 5, 2010 @ 6:48 am TO AM, They are not in Africa. Pay attention! #70 Comment By seager On August 5, 2010 @ 12:31 pm this story is da bomb i wish that i was in it and that i was that lady. #71 Comment By Jeff On August 12, 2010 @ 9:35 pm This story is definitely all about the couple debating whether or not she should get an abortion. I admit that on my first read I did read into the idea of them running away to elope, but halfway

through it became pretty apparent to me what was really going on. EH is a master of course. For those of you who haven’t read “The Sun Also Rises” novel read that immediately! #72 Comment By Jeff On August 12, 2010 @ 9:43 pm Incidentally, Hemingway uses a cool literary device in this story. It’s very common in literature that water is a symbol for life. So consider the part of the story that reads: Across, on the other side, were fields of grain and trees along the banks of the Ebro. Far away, beyond the river, were mountains. The shadow of a cloud moved across the field of grain and she saw the river through the trees. What this means is that they are talking about an abortion. But when they look at the river, it is fertile with grains and trees along the river; life is bursting there. Essentially, when she looks at the river, she is considering the pro-life, no abortion option #73 Comment By Tiana On August 16, 2010 @ 10:59 pm I’m pretty sure those of you that don’t have the brains to come up with your own interpretation of the story really should stick to the comic books, because you sincerely are ridiculously ignorant. Just drop out of school because obviously it’s not helping any and you probably annoy the people around you that actually have a brain. The point of the story is that you can pretty much relate it to anything, and everyone will see it differently because they have been through different things and lived through different experiences. #74 Comment By Earl Gregory On August 17, 2010 @ 9:25 am Wow Tiana, why don’t you tell us what you really think! #75 Comment By captain On August 26, 2010 @ 11:27 am ‘I’ll scream,’ the girl siad. You misspelled said. Thanks for posting this! It’s really hard to find any Hemingway in e-format. Cool little story. just wish I could get through The Old Man and the Sea as quickly as this. #76 Comment By chase On September 1, 2010 @ 8:21 am this story doesn’t have a resolution because its left open for your own personal perception. Its intended to make you think what you would do in that situation if you were Jig. #77 Comment By Abu Dhabi Homes On September 5, 2010 @ 1:23 am Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very useful to me and I am sure to all the commenter here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! I’m sure you had fun writing this article. #78 Comment By Jenny Jen Jen On September 5, 2010 @ 8:15 am I

We had read this story in my class, and at first I had not realized what it meant… like many other readers. But as out teacher explained to us what the “operation” really was I slowly started to understnad their converstion. But it’s still a bit hard to understand for young readers like me… ㅠ. ㅠ #79 Comment By Dealers Cars Buy On September 6, 2010 @ 5:18 am Every time like to read you. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. keep up the good work. #80 Comment By Matthew Durham On September 12, 2010 @ 1:43 am Very interesting story, I love how conversation alone helped develop the characters rather than just single short descriptions of them. #81 Comment By James On September 12, 2010 @ 6:22 pm I had an open writing assignment, I chose to add onto the story creating a different ending. Here is what I did.. “Fine?” the man said. “Fine!?” he continued. “That may be the most frequently told lie there is!” “Can we just stop talking about it already?” She said looking irritated. “Fine” the man said as he smiled. “We only have a few more minutes before the train gets here, how about one more beer?” “Sounds good to me” the girl replies. The woman delivers them two more beers. She places them on the felt pads which are soaked by now. The two finish their beers just as the train arrives. “All aboard!” the conductor yells. They board the train and take their seats. The man chose the window seat. “It looks like your white elephants have turned into white rhinos now” the man said. The girl can’t help but laugh. “You know what? You’re right!” she said. “There’s its horn!” “And there’s its tail!” The two of them spent the next ten minutes making shapes out of the clouds. For the first time all afternoon they shared something other then a beer, a laugh. The man turns to the girl, looks her in directly into the eyes and asks.. “So Jig, have you thought of any names yet?” #82 Comment By Greg On September 13, 2010 @ 4:57 pm James, Don’t give up your day job. #83 Comment By Ein On September 18, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

This could be a Conversation between a pimp and his working girl. The word jig, used to be a slang term for a slut/ho. Obviously you wont get top dollar for a pregnant hooker, so he wants her to abort it. #84 Comment By Elortondo On September 19, 2010 @ 3:23 pm Pero porque no se van todos a la reputisimamadrequelosremilrequeterecontrapariohijosdeunagranputa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #85 Comment By Matt On September 19, 2010 @ 8:47 pm Maybe I misunderstood or am taking this too far, but saying, “On this side there was no shade…” and then having them sit “at a table in the shade”, sounds like a lot of shade for a place that doesn’t have shade. “Come on back in the shade,’ he said. ‘You mustn’t feel that way.” #86 Comment By Matt On September 19, 2010 @ 8:48 pm Maybe I misunderstood or I’m taking this too far, but saying, “On this side there was no shade…” and then having them sit “at a table in the shade”, sounds like a lot of shade for a place that doesn’t have shade. “Come on back in the shade,’ he said. ‘You mustn’t feel that way.” #87 Comment By Elortondo On September 19, 2010 @ 10:10 pm Cuchame Matt, vossosun puto del orto y la concha de tu hermana hijodeunagranputa anadalavartelorto chupaculos de Macri!!!!!! #88 Comment By Zack On September 20, 2010 @ 9:25 am James that was the dumbest ending ever. First of all, if she’s pregnant why would she drink a beer or any alcoholic drink rather!? And secondly, throughout the whole story they are distant and different people. Why the hell would they look at clouds and laugh together. I agree, don’t quit your day job lol. #89 Comment By Greg On September 20, 2010 @ 3:44 pm @ Zack,sorry Zack you lack the intelligence to understand Hemingway. #90 Comment By Greg On September 20, 2010 @ 3:48 pm Elortondo, whats the matter little boy? Don’t know how to curse in English? #91 Comment By nat On September 22, 2010 @ 11:45 am i dont understand did she abort the baby?

#92 Comment By Bob On September 22, 2010 @ 1:05 pm Greg you’re the most ignorant person on this website. You don’t have anything intelligent to say so you harrass others. Pathetic! #93 Comment By Tug On September 27, 2010 @ 11:18 am A lot of people seem to have a lot of ideas on why she was drinking. back when this was written less was know about the effects of alcohol on an unborn child. back then women would often drink beer to keep the child smaller during the pregnancy and keep their figure. #94 Pingback By The one-scene short story…Take II « Leslie Rapparlie On October 3, 2010 @ 11:50 am [...] “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway “Twenty Minutes” by James Salter (let’s try him again) “Intimacy” by Raymond Carver “Charades” by Lorrie More “Wants” by Grace Paley “A&P” by John Updike [...] #95 Comment By Chris Wright On October 5, 2010 @ 1:26 pm The Hemingway story reveals whatever you want to read in it. For some it might appear rubbish in this present year but when that was written it was a new angle for a situation that many had to face (As a serving member of the Royal Air Force working with USAF at that time this story occured in many forms. Hemingway had the ability to express himself in few words. You can read things into the story e.g. To have everything according to the Tao you would finish up with nothing and to have nothing you likewise finish up with everything. Or in the words of Janis Joplin ‘Freedom’s just another word for you’ve nothing left to lose. #96 Comment By Greg On October 5, 2010 @ 2:25 pm @ Chris. Wrong! #97 Comment By logan On October 6, 2010 @ 11:27 am this story is reeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!! blows #98 Pingback By Smothering the Flames: Commentary « Verbumaturgy On October 8, 2010 @ 12:47 pm [...] assignment was to read Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” and then write a similar dialog driven scene. We were to have between 500 and 1,500 words. [...] #99 Comment By Lynnmae101 On October 11, 2010 @ 7:14 am this is my homework.. well i need to write something about the story & about abortion… huuuhhhh… well, its a weird story when i first read it.. & i was shocked it was all about abortion.. i didn’t get it either.. but i read it like a couple of times.. well, i think you need to analyze it.

haha.Ü #100 Comment By Chris Wright On October 11, 2010 @ 3:48 pm Lynnmae I do not really believe that you were ’shocked’ by the situation in respect of ‘abortion’ in this day and age. Remember when that story was written things were very much different. I remember my mother telling me that the man who lived in the house opposite was a ‘Divorcee’. Nowadays it would not even warrant a comment! Anyway if you would like to read something factual and down to earth try – ‘The Spanish Cheese ‘Sanwishp Without Bread’. Chris #101 Comment By Chris Wright On October 11, 2010 @ 3:51 pm Lynnmae I do not really believe that you were ’shocked’ by the situation in respect of ‘abortion’ in this day and age. Remember when that story was written things were very much different. I remember my mother telling me that the man who lived in the house opposite was a ‘Divorcee’. Nowadays it would not even warrant a comment! Anyway if you would like to read something factual and down to earth try – ‘The Spanish Cheese ‘Sanwish’ Without Bread’. Chris #102 Comment By Chris Wright On October 11, 2010 @ 3:53 pm Lynnmae I do not really believe that you were ’shocked’ by the situation in respect of ‘abortion’ in this day and age. Remember when that story was written things were very much different. I remember my mother telling me that the man who lived in the house opposite was a ‘Divorcee’. Nowadays it would not even warrant a comment! Anyway if you would like to read something factual and down to earth try – ‘The Spanish Cheese ‘Sanwish Without Bread’. Chris #103 Comment By Jasey On October 13, 2010 @ 2:45 pm Does anyone notice they’re drinking alcohol and shes pregnant? #104 Comment By Sandy On October 13, 2010 @ 2:45 pm One of the best short stories ever written. The discussion here suggests people know how to write their opinions, but few know how to read a story closely. Y para Elortondo: Al meter tanta basura en una discusión literaria sugiere que eres un basurero ignorante, incapaz de expresarse en lenguaje normal. #105 Comment By layla On October 14, 2010 @ 11:13 pm we did not get the story until our teacher explained it to us! but it’s a really nice story!!! #106 Comment By abcdefghijkl On October 14, 2010 @ 11:17 pm ddnt get it tl our teacher explaind it 2 us:) we cm up eth alot of dumb stupid conclusions.but its

a rockin story:):)luv heminge\way:)he’s too handsome (whn he ws young)sooooooooooooooo cute:)go hemingway!!!!!! #107 Comment By Chris Wright On October 15, 2010 @ 3:55 am To abcdefghijkl, Glad you like Hemingway. Some years ago I arranged to meet a friend of mine who knew him in Africa and Spain at the hotel Metropol, Valencia. But my friend said that it was not possible as he and Hemingway had both been thrown out because they were squirting the clients (including the mayor at that time) with water pistols full of gin. All this is in my book. chris wright #108 Comment By layla On October 15, 2010 @ 6:35 am No way!! he wouldn’t have done such a thing, seriously i cannot believe that! #109 Comment By K.D On October 15, 2010 @ 10:21 am One of the best stories ever written, sure it takes a while before it really sinks in but when you get it, it really moves you. Cheers! #110 Comment By mnopqrstuvwxyz On October 17, 2010 @ 2:12 am I totally agree to sister “ABCDEFGHIJ” coz even i was in class when the teacher explained!! #111 Comment By layla On October 18, 2010 @ 5:08 am Hemingway…..all the way!!!!! #112 Comment By Jordan On October 19, 2010 @ 7:26 pm Just a question. How is everyone so sure that this story is about abortion? Technically speaking if she was so worried about keeping the baby, would it make sense for her to be drinking? I’m just curious to why people think this is the case, because I don’t see abortion being part of the story. #113 Pingback By Blast from the Past – Classics Short Story – Classics ernest hemingway hemingway hemingway short stories hills like white elephants – The Uncut Page On October 21, 2010 @ 11:01 pm [...] White Elephants”. This story is the story that made me want to become a writer. You can read the full story here. It’s rather short, only 3 or 4 pages. Go ahead, I’ll [...] #114 Comment By Tim On October 25, 2010 @ 11:50 pm Excellent story. Hemingway seems to like the topic of abortion for some reason. His 6 word short story seems to

touch on the subject also. For sale: Baby shows, never worn. #115 Comment By Kathryn On October 31, 2010 @ 1:40 pm Thanks for posting. I just wrote an analysis on this short story. My thesis concluded that the story is describing the couple preparing to jump in front of the train- then being reincarnated together to become the hills! #116 Pingback By How to work a cocktail party like a tutor | leaf – stitch – word On November 7, 2010 @ 9:22 am [...] a few feet away. This is not unlike asking a student in a tutorial who has to write a paper about “Hills Like White Elephants”: What is this even [...]

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