' In both expressions, the world's largest land mammal is used as a symbol of its size, but with different meanings.
In 'Hills Like White Elephants,' Ernest Hemingway uses both meanings as a way of symbolizing the magnitude of the decision 'the girl' has to make - does she keep the baby or not?
The first symbol we have in the story is the white elephant.
White elephant parties at the office are a relatively new tradition, but the expression itself has been around for some time.
Then you'd probably be able to read the American rather well.
Throughout the story, despite his incessant insisting that 'if you don't want to you don't have to,' all the reassurances he offers the girl are completely false.
After this lesson is done, students should be able to: Did you know…
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Notice that, throughout 'Hills Like White Elephants,' no character is actually named, but instead identified by nationality (American) or gender and level of maturity ('the girl' and 'the woman' who serves the couple drinks).
This is crucial to understanding the girl's dilemma, since the experience of carrying and birthing a child would eventually lead to her becoming a woman.