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Literature Study GuidesHills Like White Elephants

Hills Like White Elephants | Study Guide

Ernest Hemingway

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Ernest Hemingway

Year Published



Short Story


Drama, Fiction

Perspective and Narrator

"Hills Like White Elephants" features a third-person objective point of view, which echoes the perspective of a journalist who reports actions, sights, and sounds but not thoughts. Additionally, there are moments when the narrator translates Spanish for readers, which juxtapose moments when the man translates Spanish for Jig. These elements tie to the theme of communication.


"Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemingway is narrated in the past tense.

About the Title

"Hills Like White Elephants" refers to a comment Jig, the female main character, makes about the setting of the narrative. This correlation suggests that Jig may be the focus of the narrative. As a simile, the phrase must be interpreted. The word hill may refer to a pregnant belly or a geographic land form that serves as a barrier. The term white elephant refers to something that is burdensome, costly, or without value. Symbolically, the title ties to both the pregnancy and theme of communication or the lack of it.


This study guide and infographic for Ernest Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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