illustration of train tracks with low hills in the background and one of the hills has the outline of an elephant within it

Hills Like White Elephants

by Ernest Hemingway

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In the story Hills Like White Elephants what kind of resolution does the story offer?

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I think that part of the story's beauty is that it really does not offer a resolution.  In a commitment to present consciousness as it is, Hemingway does not capitulate to traditional storytelling narrative where a resolution is present.  In doing so, the realistic manner in which the conversation is constructed would disappear.  Instead, Hemingway offers a portrait of reality, complete with the realistic element where an ending resolution is not entirely evident.  Part of the reason for this is that the story is constructed and simultaneously concealed by dialogue.  The third person narration is present, but it is secondary to the dialogue between the man and woman that allows the full force of the story to be understood.  We only know of the discussion's topic through dialogue.  It is only through dialogue that we understand more of the characterizations of each character.  Yet, it is because of this that there is not a full resolution present nor is there a complete grasp of the force of the situation.  In the end, it is this element that prevents full resolution to be recognized.

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