What is the contradictory element in the story "Hills Like White Elephants?"

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In this story, a man, the American, has a conversation with his girlfriend Jig, who is pregnant. He wants her to have an abortion. She does not, seeing the possibility inherent having a baby. The contradiction is that he thinks it is freeing to get out of having the child, but she realizes that they can't have everything. Every choice is in fact a choice. In the dialogue below, she points out the contradiction in his "have-it-all" thinking. Hemingway's writing is notably spare, and he leaves it to the reader to supply the he-said/she-said information, so I have taken the liberty, for the sake of clarity, to supply the he said/she said below. When she says "we could have everything," one interpretation is that she is mocking him, because she then turns around and contradicts her (really his) words, saying that, in fact, no they can't:

"And we could have all this," she said. "And we could have everything and every day we make it more impossible."

"What did you say?" [he said]


(The entire section contains 2 answers and 533 words.)

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