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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What is the man's attitude toward the situation in "Hills Like White Elephants"? What are his primary concerns?

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Ernest Hemingway offers a story of a man and a woman who have fundamentally different visions of their lives and of their possible life together. The man seems to believe that they could indefinitely continue a carefree, almost-nomadic lifestyle. Although the exact roadblock to that scenario is not provided, the reader can infer that the woman is pregnant and that the man wants her to terminate the pregnancy. Apparently in a state of denial about several factors, he underplays the physical danger and legal risks involved in an illegal abortion as well as the future psychological impact. He is dismissive of the woman's concerns. He regards his desire as the most important factor. When she can stand no more, she pleads with him to stop talking.

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