Why does the man want an abortion and why doesn't the woman want an abortion? Give three reasons.

Expert Answers
William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are at least three reasons why the girl doesn't want to have an abortion. In the first place, it is natural and instinctive for a woman to want to have a baby. If she is pregnant, then it is natural and instinctive for her to want to keep the baby. In the second place, she knows it is dangerous in spite of what the man keeps telling her. In the third place, she knows it is morally wrong, it is like murder. In the fourth place, she knows it is against the law and that they will have to go through a sordid, furtive process in some sinister setting with a man or woman who may know very little about performing such operations. In the fifth place, she is tired of traveling around looking at things and trying new drinks. She would like to settle down and have a family. She thinks that a baby would strengthen her relationship with the American. In the sixth place, she believes that their conspiracy to abort the baby would undermine their relationship. Their love would never be the same, because the outcome of their love-making ended in such an ugly way. The most important reason for the girl not wanting an abortion is that women naturally and instinctively want to have babies. They are genetically programmed to want babies. Perhaps she got pregnant accidentally on purpose? There are other reasons why she would not want an abortion. She may be a Catholic, as other answerers have suggested. She may be afraid of such an invasive operation. She may be already bonded to the fetus and thinks of him or her as a real person.

As far as the man's reasons and feelings are concerned, his main objection of having a baby is that he doesn't want to get tied down. They do not necessarily have much money. If he is anything like Hemingway in the twenties, he has very little money but can live cheaply in Europe because the exchange rate is so favorable. Having a baby would be a great expense. They would have to settle down. He would have to get a job. He doesn't like the prospect of going to work every day and returning to a little apartment and living a constricted domestic life. He is an adventurer, not a clerical type. He would most likely have to go back to America in order to get a job. After all, the exchange rate is favorable to Americans because conditions are so bad in Europe. There is nothing very unusual about a young man not wanting to become a father. All of a sudden, instead of only having to support himself, he is faced with having to support three people--himself, his wife, and a baby. Perhaps he realizes that one baby is only the beginning. If he accepts the role of father and breadwinner, another baby may soon follow--as it so often does. He may have to take a job he dislikes, and he may get stuck in that type of work and be unable to fulfill his dream of doing whatever he hopes to do. He obviously feels guilty for being so selfish, but he knows that if he acts unselfishly he will have to pay a high price for his generosity.


renelane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The man wants Jig to have an abortion because he says it will free them from responsibility and keep them the way they are, he does not want to share her, and it will eventually break them up.

Jig is somewhat against it because she feels that the abortion is dangerous and may kill her, she doesn't have faith their relationship will last anyway, and she thinks she will be sorry or regretful for doing it.

ceiljoan | Student

Hills like white elephants actually focused on mans behavior with regards superiority.

Before we could come up to our analysis,we should have first an idea on the writer itself. The gist of the stOry is that.

 "Ernest Hemingway in his "Hills like white Elephants" tends to express the distruction than may happen in mans desire to win or prove his superiority" wherein Hemingway viewed life as "Life is a compition,one is trying to be superior. Hemingway make use of abortion to open a particular issue between the two characters.The so called abortion is not the real focus of the story, it is the superiority is self that was been manifesterd by the American man and Jig is the real issue behind it.

why superior?

Try to look at the character of American people and if you have noticed Hemingway make use of 'Girl' instead of woman. In this sense it only implies that the girl wants to prove something to the Amarican man that she is more superior than him.

I'll give some info next time.



Read the study guide:
Hills Like White Elephants

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question