Rewrite the ending to "Hills like White Elephants."

"Hills Like White Elephants" could end in many ways. For example, consider what might happen if the woman doesn’t interrupt the couple. The girl might scream, which would escalate the conflict and provide more insight into the couple's relationship. The couple could also a definitive decision about the operation. For instance, an alternative, more optimistic end might have them crossing the tracks to the lush side, symbolically choosing to embrace new life.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The ending of Hemingway’s short story “Hills Like White Elephants” is a bit ambiguous. While it is implied that the couple’s conflict was resolved, it is open for interpretation and thus one could rewrite it from several perspectives.

The couple in the story is having a restrained, yet tense, debate about whether or not the woman should have an operation. The operation is implied to be an abortion, which alerts the reader to the ways other elements in the story symbolizes the contrast between fertility and barrenness. For example, consider how the train station has two sides. One side is in the sun and is closer to fields of grain and the mountains. The other side is the one that the couple takes the train on and is separate from this lush area. This suggests that the couple decides to go through...

(The entire section contains 443 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on