In the commentary on Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants", we are asked why the title refers to the setting. By using certain aspects of the surrounding landscapes Hemingway has portrayed the conflict taking place within Jig. .
The setting of Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants" is comprised of two landscapes. One landscape is long and barren with white hills that stretch out over the Ebro valley. The landscape located on the other side of the tracks is made up of a flowing river lined with shade trees and fields of grain. .
These contrasting landscapes are symbols of life and death.
In Hemingway's title "Hills Like White Elephants", he has used Jig's thoughts about the landscape surrounding her to provide the reader with insight into her indecisiveness concerning the abortion. I have always thought that the hills were symbolic of the decision she has to make. While she is trying to decide on having the surgery or not she is standing at the foot of the hill. If she chooses to have the child, she will be climbing the hill; she will be overcoming a difficult decision. If she chooses to have the abortion, she will have never moved from the foot of the hill. She will be in the same situation with the American that she was in before she became pregnant. Jig makes this known when she comments, "That's all we do, isn't it-look at things and try new drinks?" (Pg 397) Their life never changes; they always do the same thing.
By using the setting in the title, Hemingway has allowed the reader to go through Jig's thoughts, showing us how the setting is representative of her feelings toward having the child or aborting it. .