What do they mean by how are the charecters drawn and are they recognizable or not in "Hills Like White Elephants"?I am trying to figure out if they are talking about the personality of the...

What do they mean by how are the charecters drawn and are they recognizable or not in "Hills Like White Elephants"?

I am trying to figure out if they are talking about the personality of the charecters or what exactly they mean by drawn and recognizable.

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The characters are definitely recognizable but in this short story, as in all short stories, there is not enough time to  fully develop the entire personalities of the characters. By definition, the story story focuses on one aspect or moment of decision in a character's life. In fact, in "Hills Like White Elephants" the major problem of Jig's unwanted pregnancy is only inferred. What is important to Hemingway is to focus on the dialogue of the characters because it reveals the attitude each one has towards their "problem." From their attitudes, we can infer some of the character's personalities, but not all. But this story is not really about these specific characters, but about the ideals that divide women and men when it comes to raising a child. The man obviously sees the baby as an imposition into their relationship. The woman sees the baby as a culmination of the love they feel for each other. She is the only one who sees that not matter what decision she makes, their relationship is going to change. The character's backgrounds, jobs, likes, dislikes are not the focus of the story and therefore, not included in the dialogue. That way Hemingway forces the reader to focus on what he wants, not something extraneous to the theme of the story.

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Hills Like White Elephants

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