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Reaction to Hills Like White Elephants

Throughout this school year, we analyzed and discussed several awesome poems, novels and stories. One that I particularly liked would have to be “Hill Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway. The first thing about it that caught my attention would have to be its title, “Hills like White Elephants’.

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To be honest, I really thought that it’ll be about some elephants in Africa or something but I was wrong. There were no elephants! The story is about an American man and woman having some beers as they wait for the train to Barcelona.

So, just through the title, I guess you could say that this is an ambiguous text. To decipher it, you need to read it again and again! The text of Hemingway appears to be simple but then again his works are ambiguous, so his text may be further from the truth. The story makes use of sparse dialogue some even say that the way Hemingway’s characters speak is sometimes more important than what they say so when reading his text you really have to take in the dialogue and decode it.

At first, when I just went through the story, I really didn’t get what the couple were talking about and then after several readings I found out that it was about abortion. It’s really beautiful how Hemingway could subtly bring about a message without even having it written directly. The powerful writing of Hemingway definitely has made a huge impact in me. Aside from me discovering a beautiful story, I learned not to take everything too literally and to have patience in order to understand.