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The tone of a piece of literature can be defined as the emotion or feeling that the author conveys through his words. Tone can be hard to separate from mood, however, as a rule of thumb the mood is the emotion throughout the entire piece while the tone can change throughout the piece. In "Hills Like White Elephants" Hemingway indicates tone both through his description of the scene as well as through the strained conversation between the characters. There is a sense of conflict between the characters regarding Jig's pregnancy and the older man's desire for her to end the pregnancy with an abortion. This produces a tense tone to the piece and leads the reader to wonder about the deeper problems in this relationship. For more information on this piece of literature, check out the summary and study guide here on enotes.
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