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Disintegrating Relationships in Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills like White Elephants” and “Mr and Mrs Elliot”

Hemingway's depiction of human alienation and dysfunctional relationships of his characters. He portrays men who lack masculinity, and drown their sorrows in alcohol, while others compensate with random sexual encounters. He also presents women who lack fertility, who are passive and unable to turn their lives for the better. Characters from both these stories have completely dysfunctional relationships and seem to be unable to do the right thing.

language english
wordcount 3214 (cca 9 pages)
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Preview of the essay: Disintegrating Relationships in Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills like White Elephants” and “Mr and Mrs Elliot”

Disintegrating Relationships in Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills like White Elephants” and “Mr and Mrs Elliot” Ernest Hemingway was a part of the 1920s expatriate community in Paris, as well as the veterans of WW I, later known as The Lost Generation. His unique writing style is characterized by economy and understatement, while staying true to his hard-boiled style and the iceberg theory, according to which many things are left unsaid, but are equally important for our understanding of the story. One has to go pass the surface and go deep down to see the real picture the writer wanted to convey. His protagonists are typically stoic men and his entire writing can be interpreted as a minimalistic quintessential male-centered narrative, where the masculine is magnified and is in direct conflict with femininity. All his characters are lost souls, not knowing what their rightful place in this world is. They feel their lives are misplaced and thus to ...

... Waste Land one of the main themes is modern life as a waste land, with the lack of faith, lack of communication, fear of both life and death, corruption of life, and corruption of sex. Eliot’s characters also have problems with communication, they are sitting in their prisons, thinking of keys that would release them. Their arrogance and egoism keep them from understanding each other, and it is because of this focus on the self that there is no communication between these people.

In the end, neither of the stories provides us with a definite ending. The endings are open and depend on our personal point of view. Will Jig go through with the abortion or not, and what will finally happen with Mr and Mrs Elliot? There is no answer. The point of these stories is not to give us a definite answer, but rather to make us think for ourselves and reach our own, individual conclusions and decisions...
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