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Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway uses symbolism to help the reader gain a better perspective of how the protagonist feels in his story. Symbolism occurs when the author uses one thing to represent another. This helps to give the reader a better idea of the situation or feeling in a given scene. There are several types of symbolism utilized by authors. One type is conventional symbolism. Conventional symbolism is common to the area where the story takes place. While another type is personal which simply is closely tied to the individual. Still a third type of symbolism is universal, which hold a widely understood meaning. As we examine "Hills Like White Elephants" we notice how Hemingway integrates both personal and conventional symbolism in order to help the reader relate to the situation. As the story begins the reader is thrust into the lives of two individuals who wait in a small bar for their train to come. The symbolism is evident as early as the description of the setting when the introduction says, "The hills across the valley of the Ebro were long and white. On this side there was no shade and no trees"(170). This opening statement describes the actual landscape and also describes the situation that the two characters face which is dismal and dark. The reader might possibly wonder about what the other side of the hill looks like. The opening sentence might also be used as conventional irony since the hills are local to the setting of the story. The opening description of the setting later goes onto say, "the station was between two lines of Zoberbier 2rails in the sun"(170). This also relays the current situation of the protagonist as being stuck between to sides. The reader experiences personal symbolism as the story advances. While focusing on her decision, she looks at her life says, "That's all we do isn't it-look at things and try new drinks"(171). In this reflection, she is mentioning how monotonous her and her boyfrie...

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