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Word Count: 1,043
Hills Like White Elephants a widely anthologized and much-discussed story offers a glimpse at spare prose and understated dialogue that represents Hemingways mastery of style The story is told entirely through dialogue in a conversation between a young woman and a man waiting for a train in Spain As they talk it becomes clear that the young woman is pregnant and that the man wants her to have an abortion Through their tight brittle conversation much is revealed about their personalities But at the same time much about their relationship remains hidden At the end of the story it is still unclear that what decision has or has not been made or what will happen to these two characters waiting for a train on a platform in Spain The two central characters the American man and the young woman whose nationality is not disclosed sit at a table waiting for a train to Madrid As they sit drinking beer the woman notes the distant white hills and she comments that they look like White Elephants The mans response and her reaction to it hint at tension between them The tension continues to simmer through various attempts at small talks and the ordering of more drinks in the later of the story Eventually on the third drink the man raises the subject of an operation he is encouraging the woman to have It becomes apparent that the operation is an abortion The man assures the woman that it is natural and that he will be there to support her if she goes ahead with it And he tells her that they will go on as before The woman seems unsure about having the abortion When the man says he has known lots of people who done it she says she has too and adds with a hint of sarcasm that they were so happy afterwards When the man tells her she doesnt have to
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