Ok, so I am just going to come right out with it here and give away the big secret in case you didn’t see it (and no one ever does so don’t be upset if you missed it when you read the story! unless you Googled the story or someone already told you it is unlikely you noticed this, which was the point)…..ready…….in Hills Like White Elephants the “procedure” that Jig is maybe going to have is an abortion. Yup, go re-read it, looks like a little different of a conversation now doesn’t it? Now you are ready for my question:
This story is all about the use of Tone, which is what Hemingway is famous for (in his writing). He doesn’t give anything away to the reader, like doesn’t say things like….she said angrily while thinking what a jerk he was….or anything. Heck, half the story you forget which one is talking because he doesn’t even include “he said” “she said” most of the time. you have to keep close track of the conversation by WHAT they are saying and the USE of diction and HOW they are using those words so you understand their TONE (upset, angry, sarcastic, terse, bitter, flippant, uncaring, happy, confused, etc). If you just surface read this story you are not going to get it at all. So, first re-read it. Now answer this:
Thinking back on the tone lecture, understanding what they are going back and forth about, do you think that this couple’s relationship is doomed to fail? Or is this a point of possible growth for them? How can I possibly ask you to tell the future in a fiction story that doesn’t end with the answer? I am asking you to do what you all do already, make educated guesses based on your critical thinking. Here we have a very small piece of their life, but an important part (otherwise it wouldn’t be a story), to exhibit a part of their relationship and how they interact with one another. Think about your own relationships, reflect on how this compares to that or other people’s relationships. Think about the TONE, how are they talking to each other? is this good or bad? How does this inform your decision.
So answer the question, and tell me HOW and WHY you came to that conclusion. 🙂 Support! 🙂