What's the purpose of the trip the two travelers are taking in "Hills Like White Elephants?"

Expert Answers
amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The American and Jig have been leading a casual lifestyle in which they travel leisurely and party. As Jig notes, 

"I wanted to try this new drink. That's all we do, isn't it--look at things and try new drinks?" 

Because they are so casual, there is a certain lack of significant commitment. This is particularly revealed on the American's part when he tries to convince Jig to have the abortion while she tries to look at the benefits of having and not having the baby. So, the reason for their trip is that it is just the kind of life they'd been leading. However, the trip might also be an opportunity for them to discuss the possibility of having the baby. The American is pushing for an abortion, mostly so he/they can continue with this casual lifestyle. Jig, on the other hand, is more thoughtful and wants to consider both options. It is likely that the American had it in mind to use this trip as an opportunity to argue his point that having the abortion will allow them to continue with the lifestyle they'd been leading: 

"We'll be fine afterward. Just like we were before." 

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Hills Like White Elephants

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