Ernest Hemingway is an incredible writer for his ability to write a story using symbols. Symbolism is the art or practice of using symbols, especially by investing things with a symbolic meaning or by expressing the invisible or intangible by means of visible or sensuous representation (Websters Dictionary). The technique is used to emphasize the importance of ideas by leaving out important details of the story and replacing them with symbols. In some cases the reader may never find or understand the symbols so it might be hard to understand the story. The story Hills Like White Elephants contains a lot of symbolism. It is told through communication problems in a relationship and the use of symbolism. The story mentions a man and a woman talking about hills and white elephants but the symbols identify abortion. Ernest Hemingway will always be known for what he leaves out of stories and not for what he tells. .
Ernest Hemingway doesn't tell us much about the characters, but from their conversation we can get a glimpse of who they really are. The American although more literal minded and supposedly more mature, actually seems more to me like a dreamist or idealist than Jig. We find her name when the American states, "It's really an awfully simple operation Jig"(Page 757). He is the one who naively believes that they can return to the carefree lifestyle and the life that they shared before their pregnancy. He tells her that he loves her when he says, "I love you now. You know I love you"(Page 756), but I see that his love for her won't be the same if they have this baby. The girl, Jig, is very emotionally dependent on the American who is manipulating her. She does show bits of spirit and mature insights on her attitude towards her lover. The characters play a big role in the story to create symbols in their conversation, that keeps readers interested in what the symbols mean.