Academic Master


Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills like White Elephant”

“Hills like White Elephant” is the one well-known short story written by Ernest Hemingway. Firstly this particular story published in 1927. Undoubtedly, this particular story is the depiction of the one crucial issue of the social paradigm (Hemingway). The overall facet of the story come up with the powerful theme which is effectively aligned with the representation of the human emotions in the most intense form. Here the focus is to critically analyze the literary feature of setting in case of “Hills like White Elephant.”

The fictional setting a crucial role in the overall development of the story. The author successfully utilizes the literary facet of the setting to explain the overall theme of the story. All the other literary features closely concern with the paradigm of setting. The particular setting of the story can be identified as the place of the train station which clearly symbolizes the intense relationship between the main characters of the story. The setting of the story helps to figure out the association between the American man and the girl who were at the stage of crossroads. The feature of the setting of the story can also consider as the effective form of metaphor to explain the particular conflict exist between the two main characters of the American boy and a girl. The feature of setting effectively explain the paradigm of rhetorical effect which gives more clarity about the verbal and non-verbal communication between the two characters at the train station which significantly disconnect the two destinations from each other.

The particular setting of the train station in the story also effectively represents the moment of decision for the characters as they have to pick one way in their journey. This particular facet also effectively explain their approach related to their life decisions (Girardi and Queirolo). The feature of the setting in the story portrays as the train station which situated in the middle of the abandoned valley. The main aim of the author through the depiction of this particular setting is to provide the indication that although the train station is not the final destination it was the point which separated the facet of Barcelona from Madrid.

The particular form of the setting of the story is also closely related to the particular feelings of the characters of the story. It effectively explains the problems which main characters of the story face concerning to their emotions and decisions about life in future. It addresses the state of the confusion of the American man and the girl to make a decision to get apart from each other or made their efforts to sustain their relationship in the future as well. Both the main characters of the story immensely suffering from their internal deterioration and tried to reach the point of effective decision. The particular images presented by the feature of setting also play a crucial role in the overall paradigm of the story.

The images of contrast in the literary setting of the story which appears in the form of setting also provide the necessary insights about the characters’ approach related to their emotions and decisions in life (Link). The overall setting of the story shows the comparison of the white hills and the feature of the barren valley which are immensely different from each other. These particular facets of the setting can be considered as the effective representation of the prevailing dichotomy between the aspects of life and death. It can be considered as the approach of the girl to strongly decide about the having a baby or having a relation in her life. The character of the girls successfully the two facet of the images of the settings which are different from each other and provide the different interpretation of life.

Work Cited

Girardi, Margarita, and Carina Queirolo. “Analysis of Hemingway’s ‘Hills Like White Elephants’-Discourse in Its Textual, Psychological and Sociological Dimensions.” EFL and Art: Learning English with All Our Senses., 2010.

Hemingway, E. Hills Like White Elephants: Short Story. HarperCollins Canada, 2013,

Link, Alex. “Staking Every Thing on It: A Stylistic Analysis of Linguistic Patterns in” Hills Like White Elephants”.” The Hemingway Review, vol. 23, no. 2, 2004, pp. 66–74.



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