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Hills Like White Elephants


Josef Horvath

on 22 April 2014

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Transcript of Hills Like White Elephants

Hemingway employs a minimalist writing style in "Hills like White Elephants" to force his reader to realize the unspoken theme of abortion
In "Hills like White Elephants"
Hemingway's writing style
Hemingway employs a minimalist writing style in "Hills like White Elephants" to force his reader to realize the unspoken symbolism of abortion
The Iceberg Theory is Hemingway's personal writing style which he created due to his experience in World War I ("Hemingway, Ernest (Miller) (21 Jul 1899 – 2 Jul 1961)")
What is the Iceberg Theory?
The Iceberg theory is a writing style where "facts float above water
The Iceberg Theory cont.
Hemingway believed a writer could describe one thing even though something entirely different could be happening on the surface
and the supporting structure and symbolism operate out of sight." ("Iceberg Theory")
By providing the bare minimum, Hemingway forces his readers to "fill in the blanks" in his text
What does the Iceberg Theory do?
The iceberg theory creates hidden symbolism and forces Hemingway's readers to figure out the hidden symbolism in Hemingway's text
By utilizing the Iceberg Theory Hemingway creates hidden symbolism through the dialog
The Iceberg Theory
How does Hemingway create hidden symbolism?
"Do you feel better?"
"I feel fine."
"there's nothing wrong with me. I feel fine"
The symbol in the text is "white elephants"
What is the symbol in "Hills like White Elephants"?
When she says this she's actually "not fine"
The term "white elephants" is used multiple times in the text and is also used in the title
The definition of "white elephants" is a possession that is useless or troublesome, esp. one that is expensive to maintain or difficult to dispose of ("Definition of white elephant")
What do "white elephants" represent?
"It's really an awfully simple
Jig. It's not really an
at all."
What do "white elephants" represent? Cont.
Symbolism in "Hills like White Elephants"
"I know. But if I do it, then it ill be nice again if i say things are like white elephants, and you'll like it?" (Hemingway)
Now notice the girl says . . .
"No. it isn't. and once they take it away, you never get it back." (Hemingway)
"Doesn't it mean anything to you? we could get along" (Hemingway)
"And if i do you'll be happy and things will be like they were and you'll love me? (Hemingway)
A military operation
A Surgery
This means that the whole conversation the man and the woman had was about having an
Through use of the term "white elephant," Hemingway talks about the couples problems about the baby and abortion without explicitly mentioning those problems. Hemingway uses the white elephant to symbolize all of the couple's problems. Here, Hemingway employs the Iceberg theory, in "Hills Like White Elephants," as he's only using a small representation for a large body of information.
"Definition of white elephant." Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. 19 Sept. 2012.

Hemingway, Ernest. "Hills Like White Elephants." Men Without Women. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons , 1927. Print.

"Hemingway, Ernest (Miller) (21 Jul 1899 – 2 Jul 1961)." The Crystal Reference Encyclopedia. West Chiltington: Crystal Semantics, 2005. Credo Reference. Web. 19 September 2012.

"Iceberg Theory." Wikipedia. 09 June 2012. Wikimedia Foundation. 19 Sept. 2012.
"I know you wouldn't mind it, Jig. it's really not anything. It's just to
let air in
." (Hemingway)
Notice how the guy says . . .
"That's the only thing that bothers us. It's the only thing that's made us unhappy." (Hemingway)
"I know we will. You don't have to be afraid. I've known lots of people that have done it." (Hemingway)
"I'll go with you and I'll stay with you all the time. They just

let the air in

and then it's all perfectly natural." (Hemingway)
"I know you wouldn't mind it, Jig. it's really not anything. It's just to
let air in
." (Hemingway)
Full transcript