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Week 10: Hills Like White Elephants. Dr. Peih-ying Lu Apr. 29, 2010. Pre-reading Questions. What’s the issue the American man and the girl are arguing about? When do the characters mention the topic of their conflict?

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week 10 hills like white elephants

Week 10: Hills Like White Elephants

Dr. Peih-ying Lu

Apr. 29, 2010

pre reading questions
Pre-reading Questions
  • What’s the issue the American man and the girl are arguing about?
  • When do the characters mention the topic of their conflict?
  • Why does it take so long for the subject to be brought up? Are the characters thinking about it before it’s actually mentioned?
pre reading questions1
Pre-reading Questions
  • How does the title relate to the story?
  • What type of operation is it? Why is the operation not referred to be name?
the story is developed through
The Story is developed through
  • The dialogue reveals to the reader that there is a definite conflict between the two main characters, it but does not reveal the exact nature of the conflict: the topic of conversation is never explicitly identified.
the man s perspective
The man’s Perspective
  • The procedure is “awfully simple” and that she “won’t really mind it… it’s not really an operation at all… it’s all perfectly natural.”
The man enjoys their lifestyle and wants it to continue. He pressures Jig to have an abortion so they can be “just like [they] before” she become pregnant. He knows that Jig is reluctant to have the abortion, and he assumes she is concerned about the operation itself.
Abortion was not legalized in Spain until 1985, and illegal abortions were neither safe nor painless.
why is she afraid of having the abortion
Why is she afraid of having the abortion?
  • Because she wants the child(perhaps one of the things that “[she has] waited so long for ”) and because she knows that “once they take it away, you never get it back.” Despite her desire to have the child and her belief that “[they] could get along,”
The railway station where they are waiting is between two lines of rails at a junction, a place where different rail lines meet and converge. The rail lines on each side of the station lead in different directions. The options from which Jig must choose-bring her pregnancy to an end or to term- lead to drastically different futures.
The station is situated in the middle of a valley: on one side of station, the valley is hot and sunny, and “the country [is] brown and dry”; on the other side, the land is fertile and inviting, Jig is drawn to the fertile side of the valley, repeatedly looking at it and eventually moving towards it:
in class discussion
In-class Discussion
  • Compare and contrast Jig’s reasons for and against the operation with the American’s reasons for and against it.
  • Will the couple’s relationship survive?
  • Does Jig have the operation?
  • Characterize the American and Jig, as individuals and as a couple. In-class discussion
in class discussion1
In-class Discussion
  • Compare the importance setting between “Hills Like White Elephants” and “The Lottery”.
  • Explain iceberg theory.
  • What do you think the man’s strategy is to persuade the girl?
  • To Jig, the setting becomes symbolic of the decision she must make. Explain the symbolism.