In "Hills Like White Elephants," I thought that Jig was very sarcastic with the whole ordeal. But what would be the irony in her speech?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The irony in Jig's words revolves around the last statement that she makes when she tells the American that she is fine.  The conversation proves that she is anything but fine.  Jig has come to find out that she is pregnant, and she is trying to tell her lover about this new situation.  The American, however, wants Jig to abort the child.  She tries to explain to him that their future could be bright with a child between them; however, the man does not believe that this is the case.  He tries to rationalize her having an abortion even though she is clearly telling him that she does not want to have the operation.  The American claims that he loves Jig, yet there is the impression that he will only stay with Jig if they can have a carefree (i.e. child-free) life.  At the end of the story, it is unclear whether or not Jig will keep the child and risk losing her lover or vice versa.  So, her telling the American that she is fine is ironic because at the end of the story she is really confused and wondering what the right decision for her will be.  Her statement of "fine" reveals that she realizes that this is a decision that she will have to make on her own.

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Hills Like White Elephants

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