Symbolism in Hills Like White Elephants

             I have decided that the subject of my research paper will be symbolism through setting in Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants". Maybe I'm a little ahead of myself, but I have already carefully thought out my thesis statement and from that I have generated three statements. I also decided it would be easier for me to break down these statements by writing down possible ideas in relation to each of them, in this way I will facilitate the development of my paragraphs. Therefore, my thesis statement will be, Hemingway uses the imagery of the setting to symbolize the young woman's indecision towards her abortion. My first statement is, the first landscape feature in setting is the actual train station (possible ideas in relation to this statement may be the valley with hills on both sides, which may symbolize the opposing views concerning the abortion, second the rails going in opposite direction may represent the two different paths the couple may take and the location of the couple in the train station, the idea of light vs. shadow may be symbolic as well). My second statement is Hemingway's white hills (possible ideas in relation to this statement may be the meaning of the words "white elephant", something of little or no value, secondly, the American man's view of the woman's body itself being a "white elephant"). My third statement will be Lifelessness vs. Life portrayed by Hemingway in the hills (possible ideas in relation to this statement may be that through the dry and lifeless setting, Hemingway suggests that the woman associates an abortion with a barren and lifeless day, secondly, the fertile hills with life and vegetation may symbolize her view in regards to her pregnancy, she either sees it as precious or sacred and in order to view the fertile land the young woman moves from the shade to the light, light might represent her desire to give birth).

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Symbolism in Hills Like White Elephants. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:04, February 27, 2017, from