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Hills Like White Elephants 
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Post Hills Like White Elephants
Anyone interested in a little Hemingway?

http://www.moonstar.com/~acpjr/Blackboa ... hants.html



Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:37 pm
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Post Re: Hills Like White Elephants
I read this short abot 10 years ago...what a engaging story. I still think of it til this day, specifically the line "its just to let the air in". Powerful statement with simple phrasing.

Mr. P.


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Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:05 pm
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Post Re: Hills Like White Elephants
What is the operation for? This seems like a very simple puzzle with an answer that's evading me.



Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:54 pm
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Post Re: Hills Like White Elephants
Interbane wrote:
What is the operation for? This seems like a very simple puzzle with an answer that's evading me.



The girl in the story is pregnant and the operation is an abortion.
"It's really not anything. It's just to let the air in."



Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:28 am
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Post Re: Hills Like White Elephants
This short story really changed the way I looked at dialogue. I am a huge Hemingway fan, and I loved his use of dialogue in A Farewell to Arms but Hills Like White Elephants completely amazed me. There are very few lines in the story that are not dialogue and yet it reads so well and so much is understood without the need to say very much about the surrounding situation.


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Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:32 am
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Post Re: Hills Like White Elephants
I've never read anything from Hemingway before. I can't understand why I would deprive myself of such amazingly speechless examples of literature! Ok, I'm getting a little ahead of myself, but I am certain I will be researching some Hemingway literature in my very near future! lol Thanks! :D


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Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:41 pm
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Post Re: Hills Like White Elephants
I read this story for an English Lit class, one of the questions that was brought up was about the ages of the male and the female. Who do you think is older?



Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:53 pm
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Post Re: Hills Like White Elephants
Suzanne wrote:
I read this story for an English Lit class, one of the questions that was brought up was about the ages of the male and the female. Who do you think is older?



The male is obviously he elder. He is more manipulative and unimpressed by the girls assertion that they can 'have the whole world' (a very naieve assertion) and he is obviously using a mature manipulation throughout the story: "I dont want you to if you dont want to", "you know I love you", etc.

He is also knowledgeable about the drinks whereas she is ignorant. The girl is obviously bored with the stagnation of their relationship: "thats all we do...look at things and try new drinks" and she wants more. This to me implies youth and a yearning for excitment. She is very impressed with the surroundings whereas he seems indifferent.

Just my thoughts.


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Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:07 pm
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Post Re: Hills Like White Elephants
Mr. Pessimistic wrote:
Suzanne wrote:
I read this story for an English Lit class, one of the questions that was brought up was about the ages of the male and the female. Who do you think is older?



The male is obviously he elder. He is more manipulative and unimpressed by the girls assertion that they can 'have the whole world' (a very naieve assertion) and he is obviously using a mature manipulation throughout the story: "I dont want you to if you dont want to", "you know I love you", etc.

He is also knowledgeable about the drinks whereas she is ignorant. The girl is obviously bored with the stagnation of their relationship: "thats all we do...look at things and try new drinks" and she wants more. This to me implies youth and a yearning for excitment. She is very impressed with the surroundings whereas he seems indifferent.

Just my thoughts.


I had the sense throughout reading this that the male was in fact older but couldn't figure out why I had thought that. This makes complete sense to me.


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Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:12 am
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Post Re: Hills Like White Elephants
I really enjoyed this short story. It was written so clearly and precisely I'm in awe. It is rare to read something so cleanly written and yet with subtlety. It reminds me of The Great Gatsby in the layered approach. On the surface it seems like a really simple little story, but as one examines the levels of imagery it starts to have a much deeper meaning.


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Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:34 pm
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Post Re: Hills Like White Elephants
Theomanic wrote:
I really enjoyed this short story. It was written so clearly and precisely I'm in awe. It is rare to read something so cleanly written and yet with subtlety. It reminds me of The Great Gatsby in the layered approach. On the surface it seems like a really simple little story, but as one examines the levels of imagery it starts to have a much deeper meaning.


I couldn't agree more, this story, to me at least, seems so different in writing style to Hemingways novels.

I asked the question, who was older, the male or female, because when I read this story and discussed it in class, my opinion was different than most of the class. Typical!

The use of the word “girl” is deceiving, and I believe it is used as a tool to show the man’s condescension towards the “girl” and the relationship. It is my belief that the “girl” may be older than the man, if not older, they are close in age. This may be her last chance to have a baby, but she realizes that the “man” wants his carefree lifestyle and she will lose him if she does in fact have the child. The “procedure” may not be what scares her, losing him may scare her more.

This of course leads me to another question. Does she indeed have the procedure? This of course requires speculation on the part of the reader, and how the reader interpreted the story. White elephants typically represent something special. The "girl" sees the train going towards these hills like white elephants, and she wants to be on that train. I think she chooses to have the baby. The relationship she will have with the child, will certainly be longer than the relationship she has with the man.

BTW, nice to hear from you Mr. P. :)



Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:56 am
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Post Re: Hills Like White Elephants
I think the girl is younger, she does seem to be seeing things with a fresher perspective, and naive-er outlook. He is a little more cynical and jaded, and he is taking a patronizing tone with her.

My first impression was of a lobotomy, which by the end of the story it was clear that I was wrong, but then it made it difficult for me to get to what it really was.


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Post Re: Hills Like White Elephants
Hills Like White Elephants

The clue is in the title:

1 First recorded in 1850-55; from the perhaps apocryphal tale
that the King of Siam would award a disagreeable courtier a white elephant, the upkeep of which would ruin the courtier.

2. a possession unwanted by the owner but difficult to dispose of:
Our Victorian bric-a-brac and furniture were white elephants.
Free Online Dictionary

And we can all guess what the hill is.[/size]


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Last edited by Litwitlou on Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:45 pm
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Post Re: Hills Like White Elephants
Like others, I read this sotry many years ago. I was fresh out of college, and had joined the Book of the Month Club. One of my 'bonus' books was "The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway," which included this one. As to who is older, I haven't a clue; but the man is clearly more worldly and manipulative than the 'girl.' I agree the operation is an abortion - despite his protestations, he definitely wants her to have it done, and she is equivocating about it.

I agree that Hemingway is a master of using dialogue to set the scene and tell the story. He was also a master of using simple facts to set a mood; if you have never read "A Farewell to Arms," his ending, a couple of simple sentences, was one of the most powerful conclusions I have ever read.


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Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:19 pm
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