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In Hills Like White Elephants, based on Jig's questions regarding the operation, what...

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readeal3 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted January 25, 2012 at 9:54 AM via web

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In Hills Like White Elephants, based on Jig's questions regarding the operation, what does she seem to be most concerned with?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 25, 2012 at 10:08 AM (Answer #1)

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In Ernest Hemingway's short story Hills Like White Elephants, one of the protagonists of the story, Jig, asks her boyfriend a seemingly simplistic question. Jig wishes to know what will happen after she has "the operation." Readers assume that Jig is speaking about an abortion, given her pregnancy.

Therefore, Jig's only concern about the operation is how things will be after the operation, not the operation itself. Her boyfriend tells her that everything will be as it was prior to the operation. She, unable to accept his answer, disagrees with him. She does not think that everything will return to "normal." Her boyfriend states that he will not force her to have the operation if she does not wish to. She replies that she will only have the operation if he can promise her that things will return to normal and that he will still love her.

Therefore, Jig's concern is, in reality, two-fold: will things return to normal and will her boyfriend still love her. While these can be seen as being the same things, she is still concerned with them in an individualistic way.

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