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How would you describe the characters in "Hills Like White Elephants"?

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ksidhu19 | Student | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted April 11, 2009 at 5:12 AM via web

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How would you describe the characters in "Hills Like White Elephants"?

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ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted April 11, 2009 at 2:01 PM (Answer #1)

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In “Hills Like White Elephants” the American man, and the woman, “Jig,” are a couple sitting outside a café’ drinking beer while they await a train.  These characters are discussing a pregnancy and an abortion.  The relationship is very unstable at the moment because the couple is unable to connect with each other.  Jig seems to want to have the baby but the man wants her to have an abortion.  He is very selfish and independent.  He tells her he loves her but the reader does not feel that from him.  He appears to be very cynical and unfeeling toward Jig.  His words do not match what we feel from him.  There seems to be a sense of aloofness between them because they can’t agree on which direction to go concerning the baby.  They do not understand one another. Their though processes are nowhere near close to each other and this is what drives the story toward what appears to be a no win situation for the relationship.  Jig doesn’t speak Spanish but the man does, this indicates that she is extremely dependent on her lover and she must consider his feelings more than if she were not dependent. This has a big effect on how they interact during their relationship. He is in control and continues to suggest that this decision is an easy one.

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