But there is one singular story that outshines much of his work, and which often goes unnoticed by comparison: What is for certain, is that this short, simple story is packed with symbolism. As soon as they arrive at the train station, they begin drinking beer, almost as if they are desperately looking for something to do rather than sit there and talk about the topic at hand.
They usually love him or hate him and try to pin labels rather than give his work a new reading.
Also they want to concentrate on biography and biographical readings of his works, since most find his well-publicized life even more interesting than his work. I approach teaching this taut story as if it were a poem.
Word choice and phraseology are keys to its success. One possible strategy might be to ask two students, a male and a female, to read the dialogue from "Hills Like White Elephants" aloud to the class as if it were a drama.
Then class discussion would move toward tone of voice. The less preparation for this exercise the better since a "flat" delivery would remind listeners that Hemingway expects his readers to "interpret.
This story seems a self-critique of that code. Such attention to the nuance of irony and sarcasm in the dialogue of "Hills Like White Elephants" prepares students for their reading of the conversation between Frederic Henry and Gino in A Farewell to Arms by helping to reveal much more ambiguous, even cynical attitudes towards war than students familiar with the stereotype of Hemingway as tough-guy writer might expect.
Major Themes, Historical Perspectives, and Personal Issues "Hills" is a good story to shatter the false impression that Hemingway was insensitive to women.
This carefully constructed vignette has a nameless man and woman discussing their relationship against the backdrop of the mountain landscape.
Students should be encouraged to focus on the dialogue between the man and girl in order to discern their relationship. The issue of abortion and how each speaker feels about it is central to the story.
Yet abortion itself is not the main issue; it is the not-too-subtle pressure "the man" is placing on "the girl" to have the abortion that is the key issue. Original Audience The central issue in this story is the abortion the girl is being pressured to have by her male companion.
Pro-choice and pro-life students might want to concentrate class discussion not on abortion alone, but on the issue of subtle pressure at the heart of the story.
A Farewell to Arms, written ten years after the end of World War One, reflects a growing sense in Europe and the United States of the horror and futility of that war coupled with an unease over its implications for the brutality and sterility of a modern world that was unable to prevent such a bloodbath, despite vaunted claims of technological and social progress indeed, increased technological efficiency had seemed to make war even more horrific.
Comparisons, Contrasts, Connections Of many possible works of comparison, one of the most fruitful would be T. Why are the speakers only identified as "a man" and "girl"?
How do these designations affect your reading of the story? What nickname does the man use for the girl? How do the descriptions of the landscape relate to the conversation between the two travelers?
What about the discussion of drink orders? Note each sentence or paragraph that is not enclosed in quotation marks, and explain how each brief commentary affects your understanding of the characters and the lives they lead.
Why does the girl repeat the word "please" seven times? Why does the man leave her at the table? The railroad station setting is important to the progress--the plot--of the story.
How does this physical setting parallel the thematic concerns of the story as well? How does the title relate to the story? Questions for A Farewell to Arms 1. Do they seem frightened?
How does our reading of their tone affect our understanding of the war? What could Henry mean by thinking, "Abstract words such as glory, honor, courage, or hallow were obscene beside the concrete names of villages, the numbers of roads, the names of rivers, the numbers of regiments and the dates"?"Hills Like White Elephants" is a short story by Ernest Hemingway.
It was first published in August , in the literary magazine transition, then later in the short story collection Men Without Women. Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants" Ernest Hemingway's short story "Hills Like White Elephants" relies on symbolism to carry the theme of either choosing to live selfishly and dealing with the results, or choosing a more difficult and selfless path and reveling in the rewards.
- "Hills like White Elephants" By Ernest Hemingway In Ernest Hemingway's "Hills like White Elephants" the author addresses a subject that was thought to be taboo in the 's.
The subject that the author addresses is that of abortion. "Hills Like White Elephants" is a short story by Ernest Hemingway.
It was first published in August , in the literary magazine transition, then later in the short story collection Men Without Women. Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants," tells the story of a man and a woman drinking beer and anise liqueur while they wait at a train station in Spain.
The man is attempting to convince the woman to get an abortion, but the woman is ambivalent about it. Since "Hills Like White Elephants" is much less often anthologized than other Hemingway stories, its newness to students might tempt them to read and reread in order to see how the story fits with other works they've read by him.