Jig, a young pregnant woman, and an American man are awaiting a train in Spain. It becomes evident during the course of their discussion that the man wants her to have an abortion, but she is not sure. At the same time, much about their relationship remains hidden.
Jig might be considering an abortion because she is drinking during her pregnancy. Jig does not even think twice about drinking; she is the one that even suggested, "Let's drink beer." (614). Even though a woman drinking while was acceptable during this time period, it was recommended that she drink very little alcohol. However, Jig does drink a lot at the train station.
Her American boyfriend is trying to say that "having a child is better seen as a progressive life change rather than an obstruction." Although that comment seems to indicate that he doesn't see the pregnancy as a problem, he doesn't want to deal with it himself. Jig wants to have the baby but the man is pressuring her to have an abortion. He is very selfish and independent. He tells her he loves her but the reader does not feel that from him. He appears to be very cynical and unfeeling toward Jig.
However, Jig continues to drink throughout the story and even tries to feel awkward. Moreover, Jig says, "Everything tastes of licorice. Especially all the things you've waited so long for, like absinthe." (614). This line means that Jig has been waiting to become pregnant and now that she has, she feels she has to kill the unborn baby. In Jig’s mind, she has already the decision that she is going to kill the baby. In her heart, however, she still has not made her decision.
Jig doesn’t speaks Spanish but the man does, this indicates that she is extremely dependent on her lover and she must consider his feelings more than if she were more self-reliant. This has a big effect on how they interact during their relationship. He is in control and continues to suggest that this decision is an easy one. The symbolism within the setting makes their choices and she decides to have an abortion.
did i anwer the question
my assignment (350)
Read Ernest Hemingway Hills Like White Elephants Write a brief essay (350-500 words) answering these questions:
1. What is the important choice these two people are talking about?
2. What is the mans attitude to this choice and how is it revealed?
3. What is the womans attitude to this choice and how is it revealed?
4. What may be the symbolic significance of Hills Like White Elephants?
5. Is the setting of this story symbolic of the lives of these characters?
Q 5. hasn't been directly addressed. Although you've mentioned some aspects of the setting, and write "The symbolism within the setting makes their choices" you haven't given any examples on how it does this.
On the other hand, you've included a lot of material that wasn't asked in the questions. For example, you could cut back on the references to alcohol to fit in answers to Q 4 and 5.
You've obviously thought about the story and have formed some opinions, but you really do need to concentrate more specifically on what was asked if you want to get good marks.