Authors love their titles and put a great deal of thought into writing them. Frequently a title will communicate symbolism or irony or relate to a particular theme in the story or novel. Hemingway's title, "Hills Like White Elephants," does relate to the story itself in a very significant way. It draws the reader's attention to a specific exchange of dialog between Jig and the American that reveals a great deal about them as individuals and about their flawed relationship.
At one point in the story, Jig walks to the railing on the station platform and looks across the plain to the mountains. She observes that they look like white elephants. The American dismisses her words, just as he dismisses her feelings about their relationship and the baby she is carrying. Jig is a woman of sensitivity and deep emotion. She recognizes, for instance, the beauty she sees across the landscape. Her lover, however, is insensitive and shallow; he is aware only of himself and his own needs and desires. He values nothing except himself and life as he wants it to be--a life of pleasure without real purpose. He does not notice the mountains, and if he did, he would not see them in a sensitive or beautifully artistic way. He and Jig look at the world, and their relationship, in different ways. The story develops from this contrast in their characters and their conflicting values.