Hills Like White Elephants conflict
In modern learning institutions, students handle various essays among them, Hills Like White Elephants conflict. The purpose of such essay is to help students understands that conflict is the part of a story that creates tension. There are many kinds of conflicts that can occur in a story. These include conflict within the protagonist or between characters. There are many ways for the reader to identify the conflict in a story even if they don’t know what it is.
What is Conflict in Literature?
A conflict is a literary device that depicts a struggle between opposing forces. A conflict creates tension and drives the story forward. It can be used to uncover a deeper meaning within a story and highlight characters’ motivations, values and weaknesses. Below are details for six types of literary conflict.
External vs. External Conflict
Conflict can be divided into two types: internal or external.
- Internal conflict refers to a character’s struggle with opposing beliefs or desires. This happens inside them and drives their character development.
- An external conflict forces a character to confront something or someone they cannot control. As a character attempts to achieve their goals, external forces can stand in the way of their motivations.
For those students required to address Hills Like White Elephants conflict, it is important for them to include both internal and exterior conflict.
How to create conflict in your writing
You will need antagonism to create conflict for your protagonist. The antagonists of genre writing are often arch-villains. However, they don’t necessarily have to be people. They can also be any element that hinders your protagonist’s main desires. It is helpful to understand the basic principles of antagonistic behavior when creating conflict.
- Your character will be stronger if you are able to resist the forces of animosity.
- Your protagonist’s primary desire should guide the conflict.
- Or you will lose your reader’s attention.
The 6 Types of Literary Conflict
It takes two people to tango. But it can take more to create conflict. The type of conflict you choose to place your characters against will impact the story you tell. While many stories have multiple conflict types, there’s usually one main focus. Therefore, learners handling Hills Like White Elephants conflict can divide the identified conflicts in the following groups
- Character vs. self
When identifying Hills Like White Elephants conflict, students can look for an internal conflict. It means that the opposition the character faces comes from within. This could be a struggle to make the right or moral choice, or it might also include mental health issues. Other types of conflict, however, are external. This means that the outside forces that cause conflict can be brought up by a character.
- Character vs. Character
This is a common type conflict where one character’s wants or needs are not in line with another. You can depict a character conflict as a simple fight or as complex and nuanced, as in Game of Thrones’ ongoing struggle for power.
- Character vs. Nature
A nature conflict is when a character opposes nature. It could be the weather, the wilderness or a natural catastrophe. After months and months of poor luck, Santiago, Ernest Hemingway’s main character in The Old Man and the Sea finally reels in a fish. Santiago is left with a bare carcass after he fights sharks who try to take his prized catch. This is the essence and purpose of the man-versus-nature conflict: nature unleashes its power unassisted, while man struggles with his emotions. Find out more about the character vs. Nature conflict in our comprehensive guide.
- Character vs. Supernatural
By placing characters against supernatural phenomena such as ghosts, gods, and monsters, it raises the stakes by making everyone on the same playing field. Supernatural conflict includes characters like Harry Potter and Odysseus who are given a destiny or fate and must accept it. Find out more about supernatural conflict vs character in our comprehensive guide.
- Character vs. Technology
This is where a character is at war with technology. Consider John Henry, an African American folk hero. Henry, a former slave, was an American folk hero who was employed as a rail-driver and steel-driver. He raced a steam-powered rock drill machine to prove his superiority over modern technology and won. After winning the race, however, he had a heart attack. Find out more about the conflict between technology and character in our comprehensive guide.
- Character vs. Society
The conflict between a character and society is an external conflict in literature that involves the protagonist being placed against society, the government, or some cultural tradition or social norm. A character may feel the need to survive, have a moral sense or desire to be happy, free, just, and loved. Find out more about the character vs. society conflict here.
Creative Writing Tips for Creating Conflict
In identifying Hills Like White Elephants conflict, learners should begin by listing all the antagonism forces that are against your protagonist. If you have difficulty identifying them, ask the following questions about your protagonist.
- What is their primary desire?
- What is their unconscious wish? This could be related to their main desire or the opposite.
- What’s the worst that could happen to this character?!
- Is there anything worse that could happen to this person?
- This is what people, institutions or forces can do. Please include a description of their methods.
Analyzing Hills Like White Elephants conflict
Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Hills Like White Elephants”, he encourages us to draw our own conclusions from the beginning and doesn’t give us much information. We are told only about two characters: an American woman and a girl, who wait for the train to arrive. We are not given any information about the characters’ relationship or their destination. “The girl”, the protagonist, is caught up in a difficult situation that can turn either way. Her partner, “the American man”, isn’t helping and making matters worse.
MAN vs. SELF is one of the Hills Like White Elephants conflict
Jig seems confused about what to do. She is certain that her relationship with the American man will never be the same, no matter what she does. It seems that she has to convince herself to accept the process, rather than make the decision to do it.
MAN vs. MAN is another Hills Like White Elephants conflict
Jig and the American man disagree with each other. He wants her to have it, but she’s not as keen to. He wants them to travel together as they have done, but she knows it will be more difficult than that. She wants him to stop talking and she walks away hoping to relieve some tension.
SOCIETY vs. MAN is also identified in Hills Like White Elephants conflict
Jig and the American man are talking about something that is not acceptable to society. This is especially true in the 1920s when abortion was legal in many countries, but not in the United States. Although they have met others who have done it, they seem happy with their decision. However, there is still risk and it is still a big decision that is frowned upon.
Conflict and its purpose
- Introducing the opposing beliefs
Conflict is introduced to the viewer to present opposing beliefs, desires, and goals. This is not only to entertain, but also to show another worldview. The character’s beliefs and desires determine their actions and goals. A story wouldn’t exist if the character got everything they desired from the beginning.
- Entertainment value
Your stories and conflicts should be entertaining. It’s a fact that everyone knows. It’s a known fact that people go to the movies for entertainment. However, this is not the main purpose for story or conflict.
Ways to identify Hills Like White Elephants conflict
- Who is the main character in the story? Is this character’s personality changing as the story progresses? Are you sympathetic to the main character? Is she or he a good person? Is there a foil for this character?
Jig, the American’s girlfriend is the main character in the story “Hills like White Elephants”. She is indecisive and constantly changes her mind throughout the story. Because she must make a major decision, and does not have the support of her family or boyfriend, I sympathize with her. The character doesn’t have a foil.
Ernest Hemingway’s story, “Hills Like White Elephants”, portrays two main characters who are experiencing a conflict that each character views differently. The woman must have an abortion. This is the conflict at hand. While the man views it as nothing, the woman is afraid of having to endure pain for it. This story shows how the man’s egoism is disguised and the woman’s efforts to please her partner in life. To distract his wife’s attention, he buys her drinks and talks with her about things that are completely unrelated to surgery to keep her focused on the goal of not bringing their baby into the world.
When he describes the procedure, the man’s ignorance toward the whole girl is made clear to the reader. It’s really an extremely simple operation…I know that you wouldn’t mind…it’s really nothing. It’s only to let the air in.” But there are other issues than the pain that the woman will experience during the procedure. The man doesn’t see the psychological pain that the woman is going through, which is a shame.
She is asked not to have it. It is not known what their previous plans were for this baby. Perhaps the couple were looking forward to it – to the new senses of responsibility and the new bonds that would develop between them. Most likely, the girl is very upset about the operation. All the man talks to her about are things to distract her from it. To help her think and to not make her feel selfish, he buys her drinks. We see that the woman is aware of reality and doesn’t believe everything the man says to her. He tries convincing her that all will be well after the operation, but she doesn’t want to believe that fairy-tale.
On the other hand, the woman is determined to please her man and not to upset him by her problems. He comforts her, which is the only thing that is wrong about this story. He is assured that everything will be fine and that she will make it so that he is happy. She tells him, however, that she is aware of the pain he is going through and that it is all up to her and that she will do whatever it takes to make him happy.
The man explains to her why she shouldn’t bring this baby into the world. The only thing that bothers us is the baby. It is the only thing making us unhappy. We will be fine. He is responsible for the couple’s troubles. Jig is in such distress because Jig’s husband forces her to do something that she is already striving for.
- What is the main theme of the story? How is it carried out in one sentence?
The conflict between Jig and American is the basis of the theme of “Hills like White Elephants”. They are trying to decide whether the baby should be given to Jig or not.
A deeper analysis of Hills Like White Elephants conflict
The story opens with the “American” man and his girlfriend sitting at a table in front of a train station. The station is surrounded in Spain by hills, trees and fields. The couple waits for the next train to Madrid. The story reveals an inner conflict with the American girl, as well as an exterior conflict between the American and the girl. They talk about an operation they must perform to make them happy together. The couple are at an important point in their lives, when they have to decide whether or not to have an abortion.
They are both waiting for an express train. This means that once she boards it, there is no turning back. The American views the American’s obligation to have a child as an expensive and burdensome responsibility, while the girl sees it as a blessing. These hills are often associated with the form of a pregnant woman. The jig might be envisioning the hills as a pregnant woman lying on her stomach, her breasts and belly enlarged by the pregnancy. Jig may be convinced by the man that the operation is safe. However, he might not know enough about it.
The fact that abortions in Spain are illegal at the moment is also playing into the mind of the little girl. The only way she can have an abortion is to either do it herself or to have it done by someone else. It is illegal and dangerous. This can lead to serious infections. The American, however, makes it appear that it is a simple procedure. They look like white elephants. According to the girl, the hills behind the trees look similar to white elephants.
The white elephant is a symbol of something no one wants, like an unborn baby. In an effort to change the subject, the girl orders a beer. In the story, the number two plays a significant role because it symbolizes that it will end up being him and her or the baby. They order two beers, for example. The American is not interested in sharing the girl with anyone, even a baby. Jig requests a new drink after the two beers. They start to drink and begin to debate the bitter taste of the alcohol.
It tastes like licorice, the girl claims. You’ll be glad you waited, especially for things like absinthe (Hemingway 106). The bittersweet taste of licorice is just as difficult as the girl’s decision. The American becomes frustrated at the girl’s statement about alcohol and tells her not to continue. The argument continues, but the girl suddenly changes her mind and says that they don’t look like white elephants. The girl starts to consider keeping the baby.
These beads also represent the story’s short version. One interpretation is that Jig may be Catholic, and the curtain looks like a rosary. The beads could also be used to symbolize a dividing line, as if the couple is being divided by the pregnancy. These symbolisms reinforce Jig’s thoughts and feelings. The American and the girl are enjoying their beers and the American is determined to get to the point.
Jig, it’s really a very simple operation. “It’s not really a surgery at all,”. He believes that they will be able to go back to their lives before the abortion. He is trying to convince her to have an abortion and to do it herself. The American does not specify what the operation is but it can be inferred it is an abortion. The American responds to the girl’s question about what she will do after the operation.