Hills Like White Elephants Questions and Answers
by Ernest Hemingway

Hills Like White Elephants book cover
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In "White Hills Like Elephants," how does Hemingway's style serve to establish the tone of each speaker?

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The point of view used in this story is the third-person objective. This means that the narrator is neither a participant in the story's events nor does he or she tell us what any of the characters are thinking or feeling; this narrator can only tell us what would be observable by us, were we there too (this is the "objective" part of the point of view). Rather than tell us that the characters feel awkward or tense, then, the narrative makes us have to pick up on it ourselves. The characters's speech is short, and they never actually name what it is they seem to be discussing: an abortion for Jig who is, apparently, pregnant. These facts provide clues for us. The point of view...

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