Ryan Sahle
Mrs. Janet Swierbut
ENG 108
September 19 , 2017

Hills Like White Elephants Response

In the "Hills Like White Elephants" by Ernest Hemmingway, it is hard to tell what the woman serving the drinks to the couple can understand as the reader is led to believe she does not speak English. During the story there is a repeated reference to the hills looking like white elephants . The woman serving drinks may be thinking that the couple is there to see the beautiful landscape of Spain . The reference to white elephants also can refer to a possession that is troubling or useless. The couple also talk about specific Spanish drinks that they want to try. Maybe the woman serving them thinks that they are just engaging in small talk or perhaps she can be led to believe that they are trying to avoid talking about something that is troubling. The words she may be happy was used by the couple a lot so the woman might believe they are trying to decide to do something that might make them happy. The reader knows that the couple is discussing an operation. Although the story does not specifically say what type of operation it is, the reader may be able to guess they are speaking about whether or not the young woman should have an abortion. T he tone of voice used by the couple when they speak about the operation can also influence what the woman who is serving them thinks. T he man is trying to persuade the young woman to do it and she is shying away by looking at the ground and avoiding the question . The woman serving them may be able to interpret that something is bothering or troubling the young woman. Since we don't know what type of cues the woman serving them is picking up and how much if any English she may be able to understand makes it ha rd to know exactly what she is taking from the situation. She could very well understand what is going on between the couple or she might just be interpreting it all as small talk to pass the time while the couple are waiting for their train.