Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway

Hills Like White Elephants

1. What topic is being discussed and what are the different responses from the main characters?

Asked by
Last updated by Aslan
Answers 1
Add Yours

It might a little time but eventually the reader discovers that the topic, or "elephant in the room", the couple are discussing is abortion. Jig is a woman who is pregnant from her partygoing husband only known as the American. He wants nothing to do with a baby, so he maintains a passive aggressive argument to wear Jig down. The American says he does not want Jig to have it if she does not want to, but he says it would be best if she did. He maintains, however, that he loves her and that he is snippy only because he is worried. Jig says in return that she will get the operation because she does not care about herself, which guilt-trips her boyfriend into saying that he does not want her to get it if she feels that way. The manipulation and control the American seeks becomes apparent. Jig feels resigned to the fact that she has little control over her body and her life.