On the surface of Ernest Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants the reader sees a story about a American man trying to convince the girl he is with to have an abortion. However, with the use of symbolism, point of view, and setting, one is able to see a deeper meaning; a meaning that involves how dependant women can be on a man even if the man is manipulative.
Throughout the story, Hemingway uses symbolism to help the perceptive reader to see the deeper meaning. The story starts out in a train station in Italy near the Ebro, where there are choices to be made. The girl sees a life of happiness when she looks at the other side of the Ebro and sees fields of grain and tree's representing growth of new life. While on this side of the Ebro there is brown, dry, land representing what the man wants her to do. She realizes that if she chooses life on the other side (to have the baby) she will not be able to have a great life, when she says "Doesn't it mean anything to you? We could get along." He answers and says "Of course it does. But I don't want anybody but you. I don't want anyone else." When he says this to her, he is making her chose either the baby or him. Since she needs his security he already knows that she will chose to have an abortion and not risk losing him. .
Hemingway's use of setting in this story was used to set up the theme of this story. A man and a girl sitting in a train station that .