Last Updated 30 Mar 2021

Love and Responsibility in Hill Like White Elephants

Category Responsibility
Essay type Research
Words 533 (2 pages)
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Love and Responsibility in Hills Like White Elephants

“Hills Like White Elephants” written by Ernest Hemingway that is the controversy revolving around the theme of abortion between the American man and the girl named Jig waiting for a train at the station. Through their conversation and their difficult decision that whether or not having an abortion, the story shows love and responsibility in a relationship between the couple. While waiting for a press, they drinking beer and talking together. The girl was looking at the hills and said “They look like white elephants”.

The hills can be symbolized the pregnancy and “white elephants” can be interpreted as baby that is the trouble they are facing. That leads the couple to biggest conflict in their relationship. Although he knows that the girl is pregnant, he still has allowed her to drink beer and liquor. It’s not good for her health and unborn child. Besides, it is revealed from the American man’s words “It’s really an awfully simple operation” and “It just to let the air in” that he is trying to convince the girl to abort the child.

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Having an abortion can be damaged for her, but he does not worry about that because “It’s perfectly simple”. In addition, he also is afraid of the responsibility of having a child. He does not want to be father. He considers baby as a burden. “That’s the only thing that bothers us. It’s the only thing that’s made us unhappy”, said the man. He wants to be free. He does not want to be encumbered with child. For these reasons, it can be seen that he is not responsible for her. Moreover, love is the understanding each other.

Nevertheless, through Jig and the American man’s conversation, there is the misunderstanding in their relationship. Jig wants to keep baby whereas the man doesn’t want to. He does not care about her feelings because of his lacks of imagination. “They look like white elephants”, the girl means “white elephants” is baby that is her “whole world” while the man’s “whole world” is freedom. She loves baby very much but he is not, “I love it now but I just can’t think about it”. In another way, the man loves Jig not too much.

He just wants her, nobody else. He is selfish man because he just thinks of himself. However, Jig loves him. She will have an abortion if it is pleasing to him. She tries to reassure herself that “There’s nothing wrong with me. I feel fine”. She does not care about herself because she loves him and she wants to have a happy family with him in the future. Because of the different point of view between the American man and the girl about abortion, their relationship arise problems and different resolutions.The story leave us think that their love is like liquorice which is bitter. Therefore, if they want to maintain their relationship, they have to love and be responsible for each other.


  • APA citations Hemingway, Ernest. "Hills Like White Elephants.
  • " The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. New York: Collier, 1987. 211-14.
  • Literary Analysis: Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants. Retrieved from http://www. customessaymeister. com/customessays/Philosophy/16907.
  • htm http://www. 123helpme. com/hemingways-hills-like-white-elephants-view. asp? id=152214
Love and Responsibility in Hill Like White Elephants essay

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