Soylent Green is People! “Hills Like White Elephants” discusses ABORTION!
I just finished two more grad. classes, and my endless essays entertain me at times, always right after I turn them in and sometimes after I see their grades. I love literature like…a fat kid loves cake, no, unhealthy; a learned man loves books, no, too literal; like a monkey loves a branch almost too far, yes. I wrote a fifteen page paper, but here is the intro. and conclusion:
American Jig: Nameless Discussions of Abortion
The railway bar presents a setting where intake is of primary concern, yet Hemingway’s Jig and the American in “Hills Like White Elephants” are consumed by talks of abortion. They never say the word specifically, as the American pushes the conversation to his only rationalized end and Jig evades her emotions directly as her partner begins the conversation by dismissing and trivializing her agency and autonomy over her own body. Their relationship has become a new game, and the way to win for the man is much more straightforward, but the woman finds consolation in exposing her partner’s limitations and indignities. Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” presents a man manipulating a woman to ensure her abortion and a woman who accepts the abortion as a way to rid herself of a partner that is self-centered and actively ignorant.
Hemingway’s story takes abortion out of the private sphere and places it in the public. In doing so, the story opens a dialogue for the most basic and needed application of feminist work, the autonomy a woman holds over her own body. The American dismissed Jig’s agency, and for this Jig dismisses him. Hopefully, readers can decipher the social cues and complexities to discover that Jig’s autonomy is the goal both character’s covet. Hopefully, society progresses to recreate itself so this interaction becomes not a coded conversation of a lonely couple in a crowd, but an ongoing discussion for all women to make the decision that most appropriately fits their beliefs and circumstances.