What makes the dialogue of the two characters in the story seem trivial or empty? How does their style of talking echo their lifestyles?What makes the dialogue of the two characters in the story...

What makes the dialogue of the two characters in the story seem trivial or empty? How does their style of talking echo their lifestyles?

What makes the dialogue of the two characters in the story seem trivial or empty? How does their style of talking echo their lifestyles?

Asked on by august6star

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accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Yes, I agree with #2 and #3 - the dialogue is what makes this a difficult story to work out. So much of what is really going on between Jig and her partner is completely unsaid and it is necessary to infer everything from their strained and empty dialogue. Jig in particular is desperately trying to put a "happy face" on to the situation, but becomes overwhelmed easily and ends up getting more and more depressed until she accepts the inevitable.

ms-mcgregor's profile pic

ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Ernest Hemingway’s fiction is famous for revealing more in its sparseness than the writing of many authors. The dialogue in ‘‘Hills Like White Elephants’’ may seem trivial or empty at first glance because Hemingway is forcing the reader to delve more closely in the real issues in this relationship. With so little else present, the weight and the meaning of the story depend on the reader’'s ability to decipher the cryptic comments the two characters make to each other.The characters seem to talk in a trivial or empty manner because their relationship has been rather trivial and empty. However, now they are facing a crisis and Hemingway controls the narrative so tightly with dialogue, he reveals the crisis without once using the word ‘‘abortion’’. Hemingway graphically evokes the tension between a man and woman waiting for a train as they discuss whether she should have this operation. The author’s use of repetition in the dialogue emphasizes the division between the couple. Hemingway conveys the man’s selfish temperament and willingness to rationalize through dialogue. This contrasts with the woman’s more emotional and arguably deeper view of the situation. However, the dialogue seems so subtle that the reader must work to see its significance.

kwoo1213's profile pic

kwoo1213 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

The dialogue of the two characters, Jig and her boyfriend, is tense and short in nature.  The two avoid saying the word "abortion," but it is clear they are referring to it.  This shows their inability to connect with one another.  They are clearly worlds apart when it comes to communication levels and they are both getting nowhere with each other concerning their points of view. They disagree and it seems neither one will back down about what they want.  Jig is more emotional about it, which the reader would assume, because she is the one who is pregnant and the abortion would be painful and traumatic for her.  Her boyfriend is more detached.  He does not want a baby and has made himself treat it as a burden, so he does not have that "attachment" to it.

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