Hills Like White Elephants Abortion Essay Pro-Choice


Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants.”

Would you feel differently about the story if the roles of Jig and the man were reversed, that is, if Jig wanted the abortion and the man wanted her to marry him and keep the baby?

I believe that the father and mother should have equal say when it comes to having an abortion. Even if the baby may be growing inside the woman’s body, the sperm from the man was responsible for triggering the pregnancy. Not only that, but the man and the woman engaged in sexual activity to make the sperm travel to the egg. This means that it is not only the responsibility of the woman; it is the responsibility of both mature adults. I think there is a greater responsibility in the woman to understand her own body and take care of it so that the baby can be healthy, but I don’t think the baby being in the woman’s body and the woman having greater responsibility automatically denies the responsibility of the male. The reason this story is so frustrating to me is not only because of the lack of background information, such as the history of the couple, but because people nowadays are so easily willing to give up their babies, without even considering the damages it may do to people not only physically but mentally.

Could the story be used to support a “pro-life” position? What about a “pro-choice” position?

I think the story struggles in being either a pro-life or pro-choice position. The presence of alcohol is present throughout the story, and alcohol is known to be very damaging for the pregnant woman. Near the end of the story, the man says, “All right. Then come back and we’ll finish the beer” (Hemingway). It is also damaging for the male who is supposed to take care of the baby, as he seems to be detached from reality and wish to stay intoxicated. The presence of alochol makes it difficult to say that it is pro-life, because alcohol kills the baby. At the same time, the story doesn’t support a pro-choice idea either, because of the woman’s struggle in knowing what to do with the baby. Plus, can there really be a rational choice made in the presence of so much alcohol?

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Ernest Hemingway has a superbly unique style of writing in Hills Like White Elephants. His short, to the point syntax and sentence style plays a great role in helping readers understand the theme of this short story. The critique M.A.K. Halliday observed, “The story is frequently generated by the repetition of words, clauses, and groups of related words or ethical sets” (Link, Alex). The first set of dialogue that can be pulled from this story is story is short and to the point. The American states, “We can have the whole world.” Jig replies with “No, we can’t” (Hemingway, Ernest). The sentence length is very short, yet there is a hidden meaning behind the small talk. Jig is referring to not having the baby. She can have everything,…show more content…

The American is far to blind by his own pride and selfishness to see the big picture. He uses short, smooth phrases to try to suck Jig into thinking that the operation is worthless. Hemingway does a great job at making the American’s feelings so bitter, just like a modern day pro abortion advocate would.
Hemingway does a great job in vocabulary choice. His words are easy, but have deep, substantial meanings. The vocabulary wasn’t unfamiliar, and it reflected the time period of the modern-day European or American. There was few jargon used. Among the jargon was “Anis del Toro,” which was a drink that was ordered at a bar, and “Dos cervezas,” which were also drinks. “He uses words that leave us at the brink of enlightenment” (Paul Rankin). This dialect has an effective impact on the story mostly affecting the American. It shows that He can speak different languages, and could hint toward intelligent. Jig didn’t know much about the drinks; let alone how to order them in another language. This dialect shows the Americans dominance over Jig.
The descriptive atmosphere that Hemingway displays in this short story has a good connect to the tone. He makes his characters take a direct observation. Jig announces, “The hills look like white elephants” (Hemingway, Ernest) this description is very effective because it is perfectly cue with the tone. The ‘white elephant’ can be symbolized as a gift that no one


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