In "Hills Like White Elephants," what is the tone of communication between the two main characters?

In "Hills Like White Elephants," the woman's tone of communication is chatty and whimsical, whereas the man's is brief and sharp, until later in the story, when he turns to the power of persuasion in the hope of convincing Jig to terminate her pregnancy.

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Tone of communication refers to the way in which what one is saying comes across. I would argue that, in "Hills Like White Elephants," the woman's tone is imaginative and lighthearted, showcasing a sunny personality and free spirit. The man's tone is slightly argumentative, turning later to being persuasive. The difference in tone almost makes it feel like they are having two different conversations.

The woman's imaginative tone comes across early when she tells her companion that the hills in the distance look like white elephants. The man becomes defensive when his companion tells him that he wouldn't have seen a white elephant, demonstrating his touchy mood. The tone of communication here is a literary device used to mark the tension that exists between Jig and her partner at this moment in their lives.

From starting out giving laconic responses to Jig's musings about the world around them and their drinks, the man's tone becomes persuasive, attempting to convince Jig to abort her...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 574 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on November 23, 2020