The woman appears from the bar to let the couple know that their train will be arriving in five minutes, which the man translates for the girl. She also realizes that she is not loved, at least not unconditionally. When he eventually speaks again, he claims not to care about the operation, and the girl threatens to scream.
It is hot, and the man orders two beers. The Spanish bartender brings two more beers and tells them that the train is coming in five minutes. He presents only the conversation between them and allows his readers to draw their own conclusions. As he walks back through the bar he stops to get another Anis del Toro alone.
A man known simply as the American and his girlfriend sit at a table outside the station, waiting for a train to Madrid.
He has become her guide and her guardian. With surprising intensity, she begs him to stop talking. Even when the man maintains that he wants the girl to have an abortion only if she wants to have one, we question his sincerity and his honesty.
Instead, Hemingway so removes himself from them and their actions that it seems as though he himself knows little about them. However, for the girl, this life of being ever in flux, living in hotels, traveling, and never settling down has become wearying.
The tension remains, coiled and tight, as they prepare to leave for Madrid. He orders the drinks with water. The early editors returned it because they thought that it was a "sketch" or an "anecdote," not a short story. His frustration is palpable, yet when he rejoins the girl, both once again feign normalcy, refusing to communicate honestly in favor of further avoidance and concealment.
Will they break up or stay together? At the end of their conversation, she takes control of herself and of the situation: This entire conversation is about abortion without once mentioning the word or almost any real reference to it.
The American chastises her and says that they should try to enjoy themselves. However, due to the objective point of view of the story, almost completely consisting of dialogue, the reader never really knows what either character is thinking.
She no longer acts in her former childlike way. We have no clear ideas about the nature of the discussion abortionand yet the dialogue does convey everything that we conclude about the characters.
She explains the drink "was alluring not only because of its narcotic effects but also because of its reputation as an aphrodisiac.
The girl smiles at the waitress, as though everything is fine. Glossary the Ebro a river in northeastern Spain; the second longest river in Spain. The man, who speaks Spanish while the girl does not, orders two beers from the Spanish waitress, who is referred to as the woman.
Here her feelings are closest to the surface and there is the sense that there will be an emotional explosion, and then perhaps even some real communication and confrontation of the truth. Their luggage has "labels on them from all the hotels where they had spent nights. They drink beer as well as two licorice-tasting anis drinks, and finally more beer, sitting in the hot shade and discussing what the American man says will be "a simple operation" for the girl.
She tells the man to please shut up — and note that the word "please" is repeated seven times, indicating that she is overwhelmingly tired of his hypocrisy and his continual harping on the same subject.From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Hills Like White Elephants Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays.
"Hills Like White Elephants" is a short story by Ernest Hemingway that was first published in Complete summary of Ernest Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Hills Like White Elephants.
Get all the key plot points of Ernest Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants on one page. From the creators of SparkNotes.
Hills Like White Elephants Summary from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes. Hills Like White Elephants Lyrics The hills across the valley of the Ebro were long and white. On this side there was no shade and no trees and the station was between two lines of rails in the sun.
"Hills Like White Elephants" is a short story by Ernest Hemingway. It was first published in Augustin the literary magazine transition, then later in the short story collection Men Without Women Synopsis.
The story focuses on a. Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants," tells the story of a man and a woman drinking beer and anise liqueur while they wait at a train station in Spain.
The man is attempting to convince the woman to get an abortion, but the woman is ambivalent about it. The story takes its tension from.Download