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Questions on Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway

Reading: Hills Like White Elephants/Ernest Hemingway What are they talking about? (Evidence…)The man and the girl are talking about getting an abortion. Evidence: the “white elephants”~ White elephants are sacred in some countries, but usually a white elephant is not considered to be something good…the idea is that it would be really nice to own a white elephant, but once you get one it becomes clear that it has no real value and costs a lot to maintain…also, rulers of India often sent white elephants to those who they hated b/c then the person would be financially destroyed trying to maintain such a pricey (and sacred!) animal…~ When the girl in the story is looking off at the hills, she sort of realizes that her relationship with the man is like a white elephant. On the surface, it's fun and exciting, but when they hit this crisis, she finds that it has no really serious value. Or maybe it has more to do with the baby itself being a burden, I'm not sure. ~ But then again, could the white elephant could be something good? I think that the white elephants represent an ideal that is unreachable to the couple, a mythical perfection. Maybe seeing "elephants" in Spain represents an ideal that is impossible - and the fact that they are white represents a purity (virginity) that cannot be attained (gotten back). Absinthe/Licorice~ It seems that although there is a lot of sugar in the drink, the flavor is surprisingly rather bitter…so it seems that what we expect is not always what we receive. The girl in the story seems to express the same sentiment…after waiting so long, the taste of absinthe is rather disappointing. As she tells this to her lover, I think she is also indirectly referring to life after an abortion. While an abortion is supposed to be simple and many people are happy after it, (like in the case with the absinthe) expectations are not always fully realized…just as...

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