Discussion forum in English 2 Read Chapter 6, pages 135-149. Then, discuss how one symbol works in "Hills Like White Elephants" in a 200 word essay. Ernest Hemingway is renowned for the use of effective symbols in almost all his short stories and in his “Hills Like White Elephants" he makes use of a number of symbols that varies from the natural landscape to the various changes in nature. In fact, the conflict (that of abortion) in the story stems from the use of symbols extensively employed all through out the story even though the term ‘abortion’ is never mentioned in the story. The landscape or rather nature acts as the most powerful symbol in the story and at the very outset of the story the girl seeing the lines of hills states “that they look like white elephants” (Schakel &. Ridl 136). The line of white hills in a way foresees “the birth of her baby – something unique like the uncommon white elephant. The color white symbolizes the innocence and purity of her unborn child” (Hills Like White Elephants – Literary Analysis). The word white elephant is repeated three times at different junctures of the building of the conflict and each time the reader can feel the inner pang of Jig. The other prominent symbols used are the fields of grain and trees which represent fertility and fruitfulness (the pregnant state of the girl in the story), the Ebro River that represents life and the shadow of cloud that represents the abortion of the fetus and destruction of life (Hills Like White Elephants – Literary Analysis). At the end of the story the reader is left confused as the conflict (that of abortion) is not fully resolved by the writer and is left for the reader to guess about it.
Read Chapter 7, pages 195-211. Then, discuss how irony works in "The Story of an Hour" in a 200 word essay.
Literary devices such as the style, the tone and the use of ironies provides extra charm to the narration and very often the use of effective ironies results in unexpected twists and turns to the development and climax of the story. Kate Chopin’s story "The Story of an Hour" is full of situational ironies. The very title of the story is ironic as it foretells some sort of tragedy that lie ahead the central characters within a time span of one hour. The fake news that her husband is killed makes “weep at once, with sudden, wild abandonment” and she becomes motionless and quite for a long time (Schakel &. Ridl 196). The fact that Mrs. Mallard is “afflicted with heart trouble” enhances the gravity of the situation and at the end one feels the irony of the opening sentence. However, it is quite ironic that after brooding over the unexpected turning of events she is overwhelmed by a ‘monstrous joy’ and expressions such as “free, free, free”, “free Body and soul free”, and “yet she had loved him-sometimes” add to the mysterious thoughts that passes through her mind (Schakel &. Ridl p. 197). This irony culminates in the tragic end of Mrs. Mallard at the end of the story. One is shocked to find, after the arrival of Brently that Mrs. Mallard “has died of heart disease-of joy that kills” (Schakel &. Ridl p. 197). A sort of dramatic irony also work out in the story as Mrs. Mallard and the other characters are unaware of the actual turning out of events whereas it is possible for the reader.
Hills Like White Elephants – Literary Analysis. Machete, 2007. 17 June 2009 Schakel, Peter and Ridl, Jack. Approaching Literature. 2nd edn. Bedford/St. Martin’s: USA, 2008.