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Reporters:
Pet Erachne P. Gloria
Glaiza Q. Magriña
BACKGROUND OF THE AUTHOR
Ernest Hemingway
 Ernest Miller Hemingway was
born on July 21, 1899, the second
of six children,...
 All their children were required to abstain
from any enjoyment on Sundays, for
example, and were strictly punished for
a...
 Intelligent and an avid nature lover, Hemingway
demonstrated a clear talent for writing from a
young age. In fact, he pu...
 Hemingway began to hone his now-famous
literary style during his years as a reporter.
His editors instructed him to writ...
 Hemingway soon grew restless and left
the Star to serve in the Red Cross, where
he worked as an ambulance driver in
Euro...
 Despite his success, Hemingway struggled
with depression and alcoholism for most of
his adult life. Many critics claim t...
The American
 The male protagonist of the story. The
American never reveals his name, nor does
the girl ever directly add...
CHARACTERS
The Girl
 The female protagonist of the story. The
American calls the girl “Jig” at one point in the
story but...
CHARACTERS
The Bartender
 The woman serving drinks to the
American man and the girl. The bartender
speaks only Spanish.
ANALYSIS OF MAJOR CHARACTERS
The American
 Throughout the story, the American behaves
according to Hemingway’s rigid conc...
ANALYSIS OF MAJOR CHARACTERS
The American
 He initially avoids discussion of their problems,
but when pressured, he tackl...
ANALYSIS OF MAJOR CHARACTERS
The American
 Uncompromising, he seems to identify
more with the other passengers “waiting
r...
ANALYSIS OF MAJOR CHARACTERS
The Girl
 Compared to the American, Hemingway’s overly
masculine character, the girl is less...
ANALYSIS OF MAJOR CHARACTERS
The Girl
 Ironically, the girl seems to understand that her
relationship with the American h...
 Hemingway sets “Hills Like White
Elephants” at a train station to highlight
the fact that the relationship between the
A...
“Hills Like White Elephants” opens with a
long description of the story’s setting in a
train station surrounded by hills, ...
 They order more drinks, and the American
mentions that he wants the girl, whom he
calls “Jig,” to have an operation, alt...
 The girl says nothing for a while, but then
she asks what will happen after she’s had the
operation. The man answers tha...
 The man then emphasizes how much he
cares for the girl, but she claims not to care
about what happens to herself. The Am...
 The Spanish bartender brings two more beers
and tells them that the train is coming in five
minutes. The girl smiles at ...
Man vs. Man
Man vs. Himself
CONFLICT
Third Person Limited Point
of View
POINT OF VIEW
Talking vs. Communicating
 Although “Hills Like White Elephants” is primarily
a conversation between the American man and...
 He tells her he loves her, for example, and
that everything between them will go
back to the way it used to be. The girl...
Drinking
 Both the American man and the girl drink alcohol
throughout their conversation to avoid each
other and the prob...
White Elephants
 A white elephant symbolizes something
no one wants—in this story, the girl’s
unborn child. The girl’s co...
White Elephants
 The girl later retracts this comment with
the observation that the hills don’t really
look like white el...
Abortion in our society;
and
Drinking liquors in
encountering such
problems
CULTURAL IMPLICATION
 Many first-time readers read “Hills Like White
Elephants” as nothing more than a casual
conversation between two people ...
 In accordance with his so-called Iceberg
Theory, Hemingway stripped everything but
the bare essentials from his stories ...
Hills like White Elephants
Hills like White Elephants
Hills like White Elephants
Hills like White Elephants
Hills like White Elephants
Hills like White Elephants
Hills like White Elephants
Hills like White Elephants
Hills like White Elephants
Hills like White Elephants
Hills like White Elephants
Hills like White Elephants
Hills like White Elephants
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Hills like White Elephants

  1. 1. Reporters: Pet Erachne P. Gloria Glaiza Q. Magriña
  2. 2. BACKGROUND OF THE AUTHOR Ernest Hemingway  Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, the second of six children, and spent his early years in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago. Both his mother and father were active members of the First Congregational Church and ran a strict household.
  3. 3.  All their children were required to abstain from any enjoyment on Sundays, for example, and were strictly punished for any disobedience. Hemingway later condemned them for their distinctly middle-class values and oppressive sense of morality. BACKGROUND OF THE AUTHOR
  4. 4.  Intelligent and an avid nature lover, Hemingway demonstrated a clear talent for writing from a young age. In fact, he published his first literary work at age seventeen. His father encouraged him to attend college after finishing high school, but Hemingway wanted to enter the army or become a writer.  When his father refused to allow him to enlist, Hemingway left home and began reporting for the Kansas City Star. BACKGROUND OF THE AUTHOR
  5. 5.  Hemingway began to hone his now-famous literary style during his years as a reporter. His editors instructed him to write short, factual sentences without too many negatives to deliver the facts in his articles. He later incorporated this writing style into his own fiction writing. BACKGROUND OF THE AUTHOR
  6. 6.  Hemingway soon grew restless and left the Star to serve in the Red Cross, where he worked as an ambulance driver in Europe during World War I. While recovering from a knee injury in a hospital in Milan, he fell in love with a nurse named Agnes von Kurosky. Although their relationship didn’t last, he based his novel A Farewell To Arms (1929) on their romance. BACKGROUND OF THE AUTHOR
  7. 7.  Despite his success, Hemingway struggled with depression and alcoholism for most of his adult life. Many critics claim that his writing deteriorated after World War II, when his mental and physical health took a turn for the worse. He died in the summer of 1961 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at age sixty-one. BACKGROUND OF THE AUTHOR
  8. 8. The American  The male protagonist of the story. The American never reveals his name, nor does the girl ever directly address him by name. He is determined to convince the girl to have the operation but tries to appear as though he doesn’t care what she does. He remains disconnected from his surroundings, not really understanding or even listening to what the girl has to say. CHARACTERS
  9. 9. CHARACTERS The Girl  The female protagonist of the story. The American calls the girl “Jig” at one point in the story but never mentions her real name. Unlike the American, the girl is less sure of what she wants and appears reluctant to have the operation in question. She alternates between wanting to talk about the operation and wanting to avoid the topic altogether.
  10. 10. CHARACTERS The Bartender  The woman serving drinks to the American man and the girl. The bartender speaks only Spanish.
  11. 11. ANALYSIS OF MAJOR CHARACTERS The American  Throughout the story, the American behaves according to Hemingway’s rigid conception of masculinity. Hemingway portrays the American as a rugged man’s man—knowledgeable, worldly, and always in control of himself and the situation at hand.  Even when vexed or confused, he maintains his cool and feigns indifference, such as when he tells the girl he doesn’t care whether she has the operation.
  12. 12. ANALYSIS OF MAJOR CHARACTERS The American  He initially avoids discussion of their problems, but when pressured, he tackles them head on by oversimplifying the operation and relentlessly pushing her to have it. Thinking himself to be the more reasonable of the two, he patronizes the girl and fails to provide the sympathy and understanding she needs during the crisis.
  13. 13. ANALYSIS OF MAJOR CHARACTERS The American  Uncompromising, he seems to identify more with the other passengers “waiting reasonably” at the station than with his own girlfriend at the end of the story, which suggests that the two will go their separate ways.
  14. 14. ANALYSIS OF MAJOR CHARACTERS The Girl  Compared to the American, Hemingway’s overly masculine character, the girl is less assertive and persuasive. Throughout the story, the girl appears helpless, confused, and indecisive.  She changes her mind about the attractiveness of the surrounding hills, for example; claims to selflessly care only for the American; and seems uncertain about whether she wants to have the operation. In fact, the girl can’t even order drinks from the bartender on her own without having to rely on the man’s ability to speak Spanish.
  15. 15. ANALYSIS OF MAJOR CHARACTERS The Girl  Ironically, the girl seems to understand that her relationship with the American has effectively ended, despite her professed desire to make him happy. She knows that even if she has the operation, their relationship won’t return to how it used to be.  In many ways, the girl’s realization of this fact gives her power over the American, who never really understands why they still can’t have “the whole world” like they once did.
  16. 16.  Hemingway sets “Hills Like White Elephants” at a train station to highlight the fact that the relationship between the American man and the girl is at a crossroads. Planted in the middle of a desolate valley, the station isn’t a final destination but merely a stopping point between Barcelona and Madrid. SETTING
  17. 17. “Hills Like White Elephants” opens with a long description of the story’s setting in a train station surrounded by hills, fields, and trees in a valley in Spain. A man known simply as the American and his girlfriend sit at a table outside the station, waiting for a train to Madrid. EXPOSITION
  18. 18.  They order more drinks, and the American mentions that he wants the girl, whom he calls “Jig,” to have an operation, although he never actually specifies what kind of operation. He seems agitated and tries to downplay the operation’s seriousness. He argues that the operation would be simple, for example, but then says the procedure really isn’t even an operation at all. CRISIS
  19. 19.  The girl says nothing for a while, but then she asks what will happen after she’s had the operation. The man answers that things will be fine afterward, just like they were before, and that it will fix their problems. He says he has known a lot of people who have had the operation and found happiness afterward. The girl dispassionately agrees with him. The American then claims that he won’t force her to have the operation but thinks it’s the best course of action to take. She tells him that she will have the operation as long as he’ll still love her and they’ll be able to live happily together afterward. CLIMAX
  20. 20.  The man then emphasizes how much he cares for the girl, but she claims not to care about what happens to herself. The American weakly says that she shouldn’t have the operation if that’s really the way she feels. The girl then walks over to the end of the station, looks at the scenery, and wonders aloud whether they really could be happy if she has the operation. They argue for a while until the girl gets tired and makes the American promise to stop talking. DENOUMENT
  21. 21.  The Spanish bartender brings two more beers and tells them that the train is coming in five minutes. The girl smiles at the bartender but has to ask the American what she said because the girl doesn’t speak Spanish. After finishing their drinks, the American carries their bags to the platform and then walks back to the bar, noticing all the other people who are also waiting for the train. He asks the girl whether she feels better. She says she feels fine and that there is nothing wrong with her. ENDING
  22. 22. Man vs. Man Man vs. Himself CONFLICT
  23. 23. Third Person Limited Point of View POINT OF VIEW
  24. 24. Talking vs. Communicating  Although “Hills Like White Elephants” is primarily a conversation between the American man and his girlfriend, neither of the speakers truly communicates with the other, highlighting the rift between the two. Both talk, but neither listens or understands the other’s point of view.  Frustrated and placating, the American man will say almost anything to convince his girlfriend to have the operation, which, although never mentioned by name, is understood to be an abortion. THEME
  25. 25.  He tells her he loves her, for example, and that everything between them will go back to the way it used to be. The girl, meanwhile, waffles indecisively, at one point conceding that she’ll have the abortion just to shut him up. When the man still persists, she finally begs him to “please, please, please, please, please, please” stop talking, realizing the futility of their conversation. THEME
  26. 26. Drinking  Both the American man and the girl drink alcohol throughout their conversation to avoid each other and the problems with their relationship. They start drinking large beers the moment they arrive at the station as if hoping to fill their free time with anything but discussion. Then, as soon as they begin talking about the hills that look like white elephants, the girl asks to order more drinks to put off the inevitable conversation about the baby. MOTIF
  27. 27. White Elephants  A white elephant symbolizes something no one wants—in this story, the girl’s unborn child. The girl’s comment in the beginning of the story that the surrounding hills look like white elephants initially seems to be a casual, offhand remark, but it actually serves as a segue for her and the American to discuss their baby and the possibility of having an abortion. SYMBOL
  28. 28. White Elephants  The girl later retracts this comment with the observation that the hills don’t really look like white elephants, a subtle hint that perhaps she wants to keep the baby after all—a hint the American misses. In fact, she even says that the hills only seemed to look like white elephants at first glance, and that they’re actually quite lovely. SYMBOL
  29. 29. Abortion in our society; and Drinking liquors in encountering such problems CULTURAL IMPLICATION
  30. 30.  Many first-time readers read “Hills Like White Elephants” as nothing more than a casual conversation between two people waiting for a train and therefore miss the unstated dramatic tension lurking between each line. As a result, many people don’t realize that the two are actually talking about having an abortion and going their separate ways, let alone why the story was so revolutionary for its time. THE ICEBERG THEORY AND HEMINGWAY’S STYLE
  31. 31.  In accordance with his so-called Iceberg Theory, Hemingway stripped everything but the bare essentials from his stories and novels, leaving readers to sift through the remaining dialogue and bits of narrative on their own. Just as the visible tip of an iceberg hides a far greater mass of ice underneath the ocean surface, so does Hemingway’s dialogue belie the unstated tension between his characters. In fact, Hemingway firmly believed that perfect stories conveyed far more through subtext than through the actual words written on the page. The more a writer strips away, the more powerful the “iceberg,” or story, becomes. THE ICEBERG THEORY AND HEMINGWAY’S STYLE
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