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Every time the man or the woman try to change the subject and avoid talking about the abortion, they end up saying something that refers to or alludes to the baby or the abortion.The woman suggests that the hills look like white elephants (324), which the man fails to acknowledge.Hemingway also uses many examples of symbolism in “Hills Like White Elephants”, including descriptions of the surrounding scenery, the hills themselves, and the station where the action takes place.
The words not said by the characters play a crucial role in describing their conflict.
Jig's smiles, or the times Hemingway tells us "The girl did not say anything" suggest that there is a much deeper story in the background.
The woman is clearly annoyed at the insensitivity of the man's negative feelings toward her pregnancy.
For her, the baby is a priceless treasure, but for him it is a worthless fetus. The author describes where the train is boarded and where it is headed to, but he never tells the reader where the man and woman are at the moment.
Critics like Hilary Justice have written many in-depth analyses of the meanings of Jig's smiles throughout the story (3).
"Well, well, well: Cross-gendered autobiography and the manuscript of "Hills Like White Elephants." The Hemingway Review.
Most of Hemingway’s stories are masculine in nature, but “Hills Like White Elephants” shows the woman’s point of view as the more rational of the two (Short Stories for Students 158).
The man is shown as being selfish and irresponsible by starting this relationship and then lacking the support Jig needs (Hamid 78).
According to Victor Lindsey, the child in the story is a white elephant in the view of the man, who is trying to convince the girl to The train depot is surrounded on both sides by fields: one side with trees and fields of grain, and the other contains nothing but dust (Hemingway 324).
The two sides of the train tracks represent the choice Jig will have to face between pregnancy and abortion.