Love is something that is very important. Everybody at some point in their lives needs to find themselves a life partner. In my eyes, to have a happy marriage life, your partner should be very supportive towards your dreams. There are all different types of people, good ones, and bad ones. To live a happy life it is very important that one should have a loving and caring life partner. People with a happy love life tend to live longer as compared to the ones with unstable relationships. My first interpretation of the story left me with more questions than answers. Without the secondary source Making Modern Parents by Meg Gillette I would not have understood what really was going on in the story. Reading the secondary source took me beyond my thinking capacity and my limited understanding of the story. For example, the nature of the relationship the American man and the young girl shared, the operation they were talking about, and the decisions they were trying to make.
The short story Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway contained a lot of sadness in it. After reading the text by myself my first thought on the two people was that the American man and young girl (Jig) were just two strangers talking while waiting on a train station for their trains to arrive. But reading my secondary source told me that they were not just two random people passing time, but they shared something in common. They have had a history together. As the story began at the train station, the station itself was a symbol of sadness. It symbolizes the sadness and the distance in the American manr’s and Jigr’s life. Just like the train tracks can never meet, those two people can never be together.
Furthermore, when later in the text where the abortion talk comes up. My thoughts on abortion are that the word abortion itself produce unhappiness and unpleasantness. I was confused about what the two were having the conversation about. The American kept telling Jig that he loved her when he clearly did not mean it at all. I doubted if this story was about a married couple thinking about divorcing each other. Gillette states “While the story leaves the outcome of the pregnancy to the reader’s judgment, it nonetheless sets the values of the various options the reader must negotiate” (Gillette 57). These quotes from the secondary source cleared my doubt about the issue that it was not the divorce but it was actually Jigr’s pregnancy which was the main concern of the story.
The scholars believe that the story hills like white elephants devalue single parenthood. Gillette states, No abortions or single mothers welcome here (Gillette 58). This quote shows that the society back then used to demotivate the single mothers. Jig states, And you think then well be all right and be happy and youll love me? (Hemingway 55). The quote shows that Jig is so desperate for the manr’s love she wants the American to love her at any cost that she is even willing to abort her child for him. It is clear enough to the audience that the American man does not care enough for Jig. In hills like white elephants the abortion and the fight go hand in hand when he mentions abortion, she argues back and when she suggest abortion, he argues back (Gillette 58). It is weird that Jig thinks after having an abortion will settle everything down because there is no way that everything can get back to how it was.
Furthermore, Meg Gillette brings up an interesting thought when he states the quotes from the story where Jig said: I dont care about me, Well I care about you (Hemingway 55). After me interpreting these lines from the story My thoughts were that even though Jig seemed fine to forgive the American man, Jig was still a weak person inside. Because she still wanted the manr’s love even after what he did to her, she agreed on aborting her child just so that she can stay with a man that does not even deserved her in first place, but Gillette states “Hills like white elephants fantasizes the women’s motherly potential” (Gillette 58). In this quote, the author makes an argument about Jig being a strong mother instead of a weak woman. In his eyes, Jig was strong because first, she was able to make the decision of abortion which can be a very difficult decision for a mother to make. It takes a lot of guts to come to such conclusion. Another reason why Jig was strong according to the article was that in 1990r’s the time this story took place, the society was very conservative and traditional. They were not very open-minded. Also, people back then did not have the same point of views as they do these days. The women did not have as many rights as they do now. People were not okay with abortions and were not okay with women keeping their children and taking care of it just by themselves. They had to have a father or the society would not accept them (mother and child). The man was considered the provider of the family and women did not work back then and they just could not have taken care of the children even if they wanted to.
Another interesting thing that Gillette stated in the secondary source was Jigs easy drinking and sexual freedom identity her with the modern New Woman (Gillette 59). According to the secondary source Jig was considered a modern woman because of her drinking habit and sexual freedom, the scholars think that Jig had modern thinking. She was able to have sex even though she was aware that she was not allowed to. Also, that she was not even married to the American. She still had this fling with him, which not many women did back then.
In conclusion, at first, I was very confused about most of the things that were going on in the story Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway. But the non- literally article Making Modern Parents by Meg Gillette helped me understand the story beyond my thinking capacity. It made me read and think more deeply. Now I understand the kind of relationship between the American man and the young girl had and why they were having the arguments and the decisions they were trying to make. It also helped me understand the text better and helped me realize what scholars believe and improved my overall writing. Work cited Hemingway Ernest, Hills like white elephant. Literature: A Portable Anthology, 3rd Edition. Boston: Bedford St. Martins, 2013. Gillette Meg, Making modern parents in Ernest Hemingwayr’s Hills like white elephants and Vina Delmarr’s Bad Girl
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