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â€œHill Like White Elephantsâ€
- The story is a conversation between â€œthe manâ€ and â€œthe girlâ€ while they are having drinks waiting for a train. The topic of their conversation is a bit of a mystery at first. What does â€œthe manâ€ mean when he says, â€œIâ€™ll go with you and Iâ€™ll stay with you all the time. They just let the air in and then itâ€™s all perfectly naturalâ€? What is the couple talking about?
- What is â€œthe girl,â€ Jig, alluding to when she says that the hills off in the distance â€œlook like white elephantsâ€? In this context, what is a white elephant? How is a â€œwhite elephantâ€ different from â€œthe elephant in the roomâ€?
- What does Jig mean when she says, â€œEverything tastes of licorice. Especially all the things youâ€™ve waited so long for, like absintheâ€? How does licorice taste? What is this taste a metaphor for?
- Toward the end of the story, Jig asks â€œthe man,â€ â€œWould you please please please please please please please stop talking?â€ When â€œthe manâ€ does not stop talking, Jig says, â€œIâ€™ll scream.â€ Why does Jig repeat â€œpleaseâ€ so many times? Why does she threaten to scream? Whatâ€™s her tone and emotional state? Is she angry? Is she being â€œbitchyâ€?
- Toward the end of the story, â€œthe manâ€ observes that the other people in the bar â€œwere all waiting reasonably for the train.â€ What does the word â€œreasonablyâ€ tell the reader about â€œthe manâ€™sâ€ attitude toward Jig?
- The couple disagree about what coarse of action to take to resolve the issue in the story. Do you personally side with â€œthe girlâ€ or â€œthe manâ€? Explain how a reader might sympathize with â€œthe girl.â€ Explain how a reader might sympathize with â€œthe man.â€
- Hemingway is famous for his style of writing. How would you describe the style of writing in the story? How does Hemingwayâ€™s style affect the tone of the story?