Elon University School of Law

What is the relationship between the two characters in the story? What is the point of contention between them?

ERNEST HEMINGWAY - "Hills Like White Elephants"

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“Hills Like White Elephants” centers on a couple’s ( The American and Jig)verbal duel over, as strongly implied by the text and as widely believed by many scholars, whether the girl will have an abortion of her partner’s child. Jig, clearly reluctant to have the operation, suspects her pregnancy has irrevocably changed the relationship but still wonders whether having the abortion will make things between the couple as they were before. Ultimately, the American’s ammunition in this verbal duel with Jig is the ability to make the relationship emotionally hostile for her, as evidenced by his reactions to her comments about the appearance of the hills and the fact that everything she waits for tastes like licorice. Hemingway implies Jig is more emotionally invested in the relationship, which for the American is clearly mostly about sex.