To understand the genesis of the story, it is necessary to examine Hemingway’s early years.
As Kenneth Lynn observes, Hemingway ‘‘habitually recreated his life through his work’’ (34), and this story appears to be a vehicle through which he could come to terms with a part of his life he was rejecting.
The story bears clear marks of autobiographical inspiration, and Hemingway chose a rather odd time to write it: his honeymoon with his second wife, Pauline.
The author would marry four times in total during his sixty-one years, and ‘‘Hills With White Elephants’’ reveals some of his inner conflicts about intimacy.
In this essay we will argue that Jig, “a mere girl,” and not the American man, conducts herself more truthfully to the characteristics of the traditional Hemingway hero.
We will define the supremely heroic, distinctly Hemingway concept of “grace under pressure” as courage, honor, and the ability to cope with pain and suffering in the most difficult situations.
On one side of the station, “there was no shade and no trees . By placing his English-speaking characters in Spain, a “foreign” country, Hemingway further reinforces his theme of estrangement. Not only must the girl face this difficult decision without the support of friends and family, but she does not even speak the local language!
The author further isolates the couple by sitting them outside of the bar, on the platform by themselves.
The other travelers and locals are inside the bar “waiting reasonably for the train.” It is in this context that the heart of the story, the deterioration of a romantic...
(The entire section is 776 words.) In ‘‘Hills Like White Elephants,’’ Ernest Hemingway reformulates and reassesses his own experiences in terms of male-female relationships and decisions about childbearing.