Could someone tell me whether Hemingway is a reliable author in "Hills Like White Elephants" please?Would someone be able to help me with this question please? thanks Joelle
Ernest Hemingway, in “Hills Like White Elephants,” tells the story mainly through two devices, dialogue, and an impersonal narrative voice. Because the characters, in a sense, tell their own stories, one gets an almost impersonally journalistic sense of the narrator. Since the narration occupies only seven paragraphs and is primarily descriptive, one gets a sense that the narrator is “reliable” in a traditional sense. On the other hand, the story is fiction, constructed by an author with some strong personal issues about male-female relationships, and the dialogue is not “real” reported dialogue, but rather an imagined conversation that the author manipulates to create certain audience responses, and thus not a reliable guide to how real relationships function.
I think all authors can be considered reliable. They may sometimes use a narrator who is or is not reliable. But in "Hills Like White Elephants," Hemingway is not using a fictitious narrator; he is writing in what is called third-person omniscient. Whatever he says is reliable, although he may have left out a great deal of information, as he liked to do in his short stories. There is a big difference between a reliable author and a reliable narrator.