Elon University School of Law

What is the significance of the story's title and of the fact that it is the woman rather than the man who offers the identification? What is so important about the setting in this story?

ERNEST HEMINGWAY - "Hills Like White Elephants"

Asked by
Last updated by Aslan
Answers 2
Add Yours

The title of the story has led many to speculate on what the “white elephant” symbolizes for the couple. A white elephant is generally thought of as unusual and cumbersome, in short, a problem. Various theories exist. The white elephant could be the pregnancy, the baby itself, the abortion, Jig’s reluctance to get the abortion, the American’s insistence that Jig abort, Jig herself and the American himself. The most popular choices among scholars are that the white elephant is the baby/pregnancy (the obvious choice) and the American himself, given his bullying of Jig.