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NPM : A2B015038
Analysis of Short Story Hills Like White Elephants

By Ernest Hemingway

1. Theme :The main theme of "Hills Like White Elephants," written by

Ernest Hemingway, is the difference between talking and
communicating. The two main characters do not listen or take the time
to understand each other. Hills Like White Elephants"is a rich study in
human communication. Intense, focused, and concentrated, the story
depicts a couple at a crisis point in their relationship. They struggle, in
public, to communicate their opposing views on the course their
relationship should take. Because the story ends without a clear
resolution, we will never know how or if they manage to find common
ground. It is significant that the story takes place in Spain, but is
written in English. A close reading of the text reveals all kinds of
translation games, which both disorient the reader and comment on
communication in the story.
2. Characters : the man and the girl. The American is The male
protagonist of the story. The American never reveals his name, nor
does the girl ever directly address him by name. He is determined to
convince the girl to have the operation, but tries to appear as though
he doesnt care what she does. He remains disconnected from his
surroundings, not really understanding or even listening to what the
girl has to say.
The Girl is The female protagonist of the story. The American calls the
girl Jig at one point in the story, but never mentions her real name.
Unlike the American, the girl is less sure of what she wants and
appears reluctant to have the operation in question. She alternates
between wanting to talk about the operation and wanting to avoid the
topic altogether.
3. Plot : Hills Like White Elephants opens with a long description
of the storys setting in a train station surrounded by hills, fields, and
trees in a valley in Spain. A man known simply as the American and his
girlfriend sit at a table outside the station, waiting for a train to Madrid.
4. Setting : Place : Hemingway sets Hills Like White Elephants
at a train station to highlight the fact that the relationship between the
American man and the girl is at a crossroads. Planted in the middle of a
desolate valley, the station isn't a final destination but merely a
stopping point between Barcelona and Madrid.
Time: in the mid day refers to It is hot, and the man orders two beers.
5. Point of view: Third Person (Objective) The third-person narrator takes
the fly-on-the-wall technique to extremes in "Hills Like White
Elephants." We can see both the journalist and the storyteller in
Hemingway working together to construct the story.