Hills Like White Elephants Questions and Answers
by Ernest Hemingway

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What is the relationship between the man and the girl in the short story "Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway?

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"The American and the girl with him" are introduced in this curiously off-hand phrase, as though it is merely an accident that they happen to be together. We are told almost nothing about them. The fact that they are continually described as "the man" and "the girl" suggests that he is the older of the two. We know that he is American, while her nationality is not mentioned. He remains nameless and, while she is called "Jig," this seems more like a nickname than a name.

We infer that the two are lovers. We do not know if they are married, though the way in which they discuss their life together and the possibility of an abortion suggests that they are not. They seem to be wealthy enough to travel around, as the girl says, looking at things and trying new drinks, without the need to work or worry about money.

Their relationship is clearly an unhappy one. The man is bored and irritated. He seems to want the girl to abort the child because a child would be an inconvenience and an...

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