"HILLS LIKE WHITE ELEPHANTS." "HILLS LIKE WHITE ELEPHANTS." Term Paper ID:22182 Essay Subject: Effects of story's proposed abortion on female character & her relationship with man in cultural context.... 6 Pages / 1350 Words 5 sources, 8 Citations, APA Format 24.00 Paper Abstract: Effects of story's proposed abortion on female character & her relationship with man in cultural context.Paper Introduction: Ernest Hemingway's short story "Hills Like White Elephants" portrays what is very probably the end of a relationship between a man and a woman over their differences with respect to her pregnancy and his urging her to have an abortion. This study will analyze the story and the effects the proposed abortion has on the woman and on her attitude toward the man and the relationship. The study will also consider the reality of abortion in the early twentieth century---when Hemingway wrote the story and before abortion was legal and socially acceptable--and the effect that this reality had on the woman in the story.
The argument of the study in this regard will be that the legal and social specifics of the reality of abortion in the era of the story played little if any role in her feelings about the pregnancy, the abortion, and the relationship. It will be argued However, the woman in the story is clearly not enjoying her freedomto have an abortion. Shewould have felt these feelings in the 199 s just as much as she felt themin the 192 s. New York: RandomHouse.
Caruana, Claudia (1992). It isn't ours any more.
And oncethey take it away, you never get it back" (Hemingway, 1927, 213). He is concerned not with what she wants, but withmanipulating her into having the abortion while supplying himself with away out of taking responsibility for persuading her. The Choices We Made. Ellen Messer and Kathryn May, in Back Rooms: Voices From the IllegalAbortion Era, are blatantly pro-choice, so it is no surprise that theirdepictions of abortions in that era are harrowing indeed. The fact for the woman in Hemingway's story, on the other hand, isthat she is not going to feel particularly free or happy when or if she hasthe abortion.
New York: St. Martin's Press.----------------------- 7 She does not want to have the abortion. . Above all, the woman is confronting not the fear of the abortion, noteven the loss of the fetus, but the realization that the man does not loveher, or at least does not love her as she loves him. . The symbolic shadow crossing the field of grain is the shadow ofdeath, of denial of life, of the abortion approaching.
Back Rooms. . He simply wants to have fun, have sex, travel, spend money, drink, and have no commitments orresponsibilities to anyone but himself and the woman, as long as she doeswhat he wants him to do. New York: Continuum. Hemingway, Ernest (1927; rpt.
Nevertheless, theauthors and the women interviewed for the book argue that the choice tohave an abortion when life's circumstances are not good for the pregnantwoman to have the baby is a choice which turns out most often to have beenthe right one. . She says, "And we could have everything and every daywe make it more impossible.
It's just to let the air in.. I know you wouldn't mind it, Jig. The abortion debate in the 192 s or in the 199 s is no"Hills Like White Elephants.
" The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. The shadow of a cloud moved acrossthe field of grain. As Peter L. It's reallynot anything.
Certainly it is clear that the man sees the abortionas little more than a temporary inconvenience. No woman can callherself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will notbe a mother" (Messer & May, 1988, 1). May and Messer argue that the woman who chooses to have an abortion(even in the era of illegality) because the circumstances are notadvantageous for the mother to have the baby, is far happier than the womanwho has a baby when it is not wanted.
It is the argument here, then, that the woman would be having thesame reactions had she "lived" in 1995 instead of 1925. Perhaps she has simplytaken for granted---or hoped---that if she became pregnant they would havethe baby and it would be a living symbol of their love and theircommitment. The authors writing on abortion consulted for this study all makeclear that abortion in the 192 s was definitely a "real operation," was notmerely a matter of "letting the air in," and was at best a dangerousprocedure (Caruana, 1992, 13; Bonavoglia, 1991, 17).
There is, first of all, no doubt that there was at the time Hemingwaywrote the story a different situation existing than today with respect tothe legality and social acceptance of abortion as an alternative tocarrying a fetus to term. . ReferencesBonavoglia, Angela (ed.
) (1991). In fact, her reactionsof depression and/or bitter resignation and/or quiet despair are as muchreactions to the man's casual attitude as they are to his actual decisionto not have the baby. We read: "There were women who feltthey had to find a way to have an abortion because it seemed the onlyoption that would allow them 'to go on with life, even at the risk oflosing it.' They saw that choice as life-affirming" (Messer & May, 1988,xii). They just let the air in and then it's all perfectly natural"(Hemingway, 1927, 212).
Margaret Sanger writes, for example, that "No woman can callherself free who does not own and control her body. . He does not even want to take responsibility forhis obvious desire that she have the abortion. Hays makes certain assumptions here which are perhaps not justified. It may be that the man and woman, who are obviously wealthy (travelingaround Europe for an extended period of time with no apparent concern forfinances), are considering having the abortion in another country morehospitable to abortion. Hays writes, "One must remember thatthe setting for the story is Catholic, conservative Spain of the 192 s:abortions are illegal, condemned by the church, difficult to obtain, anddangerous" (Hays, 199 , 56-57).
He says "It's really an awfully simple operation, Jig." Herehe calls the woman by name for the first time, an indication, perhaps, ofhis desire to soften her up for his persuading. Claudia Caruana and Angela Bonavoglia agree with Messer and May thatabortion during the era of illegality was dangerous. We see this in her ownwords when she turns away from the arid part and the landscape and turns tothe fertile part: "Across, on the other side, were fields of grain andtrees along the banks of the Ebro.
It may be that they have made plans for an abortionunder circumstances far more safe, and far more expensive, than would beavailable to a less wealthy couple. . . " (Hemingway, 1927, 213).
She looks withbitter regret at the fields of grain, knowing that she and the man areexperiencing death in the train station, no matter how much money theyhave, no matter how many beautiful cities they have visited, no matter hownice the drinks are. . It may be that with the money theyclearly have such an abortion would not be at all difficult to obtain. She isprimarily, if not exclusively, concerned with how the abortion is going toaffect her and the relationship emotionally, psychologically, and perhapsspiritually. This study will analyze the story and the effects theproposed abortion has on the woman and on her attitude toward the man andthe relationship.
In short, she does not seem to be affected by the primary abortion-related issueswhich were far more extant in the 192 s than they are in the 199 s. The Abortion Debate. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 211-214.Messer, Ellen, and Kathryn May (1988).
. He says, "It's not reallyan operation at all. However, if the man really cared anything about the woman at all, ifhe had the slightest desire or ability to ascertain what she really wantsor really does not want, it would be utterly clear to him---as it is to thereader---that she does not want to have the abortion and that she does wantto have the baby. . The study will also consider the reality of abortion inthe early twentieth century---when Hemingway wrote the story and beforeabortion was legal and socially acceptable--and the effect that thisreality had on the woman in the story.
Brookfield, Connecticut:Millbrook. Hays, Peter (199 ).
. But I don't want you to do it if you don'treally want to" (Hemingway, 1927, 213). The pregnancy mightnot have been planned, and certainly the man does not want a child, but nowthat she is pregnant she clearly would like to have the baby---if the manwanted to have it as well. . She wants tohave the baby, in fact, but is apparently going to have an abortion, bending to the desires of her selfish boy friend (husband?), who sees thepregnancy as an inconvenience derailing their pleasant travels throughEurope.