Outline of “Hills like White Elephants” 


Table of Contents

The literary work that will be discussed is “Hills like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway. The aspect of work that I will work on is the symbolism that Hemingway used in the literary work. The working thesis of the term paper is the fact that Hemingway uses symbolism to bring out several themes in the short story. The quote from the story that makes has a lot of symbolic significance is, “They look like white elephants.”

Literary critics have given their different perspectives to try and see what Hemingway was trying to put across when he was using symbolism in the short story. Gilette notes that, “A crisis of communication organizes a crisis of reproduction as the characters’ emotionally awkward speech forestalls the realization of the modern nuclear family.” Gilette notes that the symbolism shows a woman who at first is unsure. However, from the way that they couple talks and Lee stated, “The text starts out with an introduction which is followed by an analysis of Jig’s point of view and a linguistic analysis of the text.” Lee notes that Hemingway brings up the issue of the modern family and its dynamics in the short story in a very indirect manner.



  • Small introduction to the topic and the summary
  • Ways symbolism has been used to derive meaning in the short story
  • Thesis

First paragraph: Gender relations

Second paragraph: Dynamics of the modern family

Third paragraph: The issue of abortion and whether it is really the woman’s choice


  • Summary of the main points
  • How symbolism helps the plot and meaning of the story in general
  • Closing statement

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  1. Gillette, Meg. “making modern parents in ernest hemingway’s” hills like white elephants” and viña delmar’s BAD GIRL.” MFS Modern Fiction Studies 53(1) (2007): 50-69. Web
  2. Hemingway, Ernest. “Hills Like White Elephants .” 1927. Print
  3. Lee, Robin. “Reading Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants” as a Feminist Text.” DIVA (2014): 1-16.
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