Preparing Your Essay on "Hills"
Rationale: This sequence of tasks is designed to simulate some of the process of creating an informed interpretation of a story by reading on your own, getting views of other students, a prof, and critics.
Step 1. Read "Hills Like White Elephants." Read the story in your textbook or in any library's copy of the collected stories of Ernest Hemingway. On a first reading, make some notes for yourself, especially
- your impressions of Jig, the American, their problems,
- any object that might be symbolic in the story
- questions you might have about the story.
Step 2. Read commentary and questions of others. Use the study guide for the story online at the Litonline website to take advantage of observations by previous classes by reading the gray block at the beginning and the right-hand column (black print) to see if you can find plausible answers to your questions. Write more notes on your first impressions about
- the characters
- their methods of conversing
- their problem and how it influences their view of things around them
- symbolic objects
- any other ideas you have.
- Consider the contradiction between "Then I'll do it because I don't care about me" and the ending of the story, if you see a contradiction.
Step 3. Read more student comments on the story. Another set of comments annotates the story (link removed at the insistence of Hemingway's current publisher, Simon and Schuster) as read by students and a teacher at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Three "tracks" of passages are marked for you in three colors and indicate two symbols in the story, plus character and conversation traits. Look for the question marks in squares early in the story to get started.
- References to the curtain or its beads
- Jig's questions
- References to the hills
Jot down new ideas or changes in your view of the story, focusing perhaps on their conversational tactics, their relationship, or one of the color-coded ideas from the VCU annotations.
Step 4. Read preliminary views from a previous class and one professor's views.
Step 5. Read summaries of professional critics' commentaries. You can do a "key word" search on this long scroll by following the directions on the page of summaries. Basically, you can use the keyboard keys <Ctrl> + <f> (Hold a "ctrl" key on your keyboard and tap the "f" key once--after you have clicked the link in the first line of this paragraph and your screen has switched to the long page of summaries). For example, you can see what various critics have said about the curtain, the hills, Jig, the American, and other issues in the story.
Your task is to let the critics' ideas add to your own, as well as noting if their ideas contradict yours or reinforce them. Jot down quotable quotes--with "quotation marks," of course--from the story and from the summaries.
|Essay Assignment: Write your definitive essay about some aspect of "Hills Like White Elephants." Some grading criteria: The best answers will acknowledge by name the student writer or critic whose views contributed to the answer, as well as acknowledging opposing viewpoints before refuting them. |
Whether you depend on the views of others or strike out on your own depends on your topic. For instance, many critics have written about what the couple might do next or who "wins," Jig or the American. Hardly anyone, however, has written about the symbolic value of the oncoming train.
To assure your readers (and teacher) that your view is well informed, you must quote the phrases that guided and helped form your views. Acknowledge by name the ideas of critics or the location of ideas, e.g. from the VCU color-coded annotations or the Litonline right-column ideas.
Step 6. Read some sample essays about "Hills." Successful essays by previous students are linked in the list that follows.
Some Suggestions for Topics: The following topics indicate the level of difficulty you should attempt after the six steps above.
|Grading Hints: The best essays display the following traits, which demonstrate ingenuity, as well as control over the basics for writing a persuasive essay. |
Each of the sample essays shows "extensive support" and "style," but most do not address an ending as appropriate for a particular historical era, and most do not acknowledge critics or other students. You don't have to repeat these oversights. In fact, if you leave out other readers' views, since I've provided multiple examples, you will be asked to revise to add them and to comment on those you mention.
32 results found, view free essays on page:
- Hills Like White Elephants Clean Well Lighted Place
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- Hills Like White Elephants
1,145 wordsHills Like White Elephants: An Endeavor to Justify Earnest Hemingway is one of the greatest American authors to ever live. He displays remarkable wit and depth in the short story Hills Like White Elephants. Not only does this story incorporate a sophisticated plot, it also conveys a different message to everyone who reads it. To one reader it may appear as though the story is about a couples struggle to decide to have an abortion. Yet, to another person the story may just be a simple plot consis...
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- Hills Like White Elephants
1,744 wordsH 2 >Is "It" a Gift or a Curse of the White Elephant? What is the use of symbolism in writing? Is it merely to confuse the reader or is its true intent to make the reader think about the meaning of the story? A symbol is a person, object, or event that suggests more than its literal meaning (Meyer 220). In Ernest Hemingway's short story "Hills Like White Elephants, " Hemingway uses a plethora of symbols to convey the idea that the young girl, Jig is ambivalent to having an abortion and t...
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- Hills Like White Elephants And Miss Brill
1,780 wordsHills Like White Elephants and Miss Brill (1) In this paper we will compare and contrast short stories Miss Brill by Katherine Mansfield and Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway. Even though that they are being written in different style, both short stories revolve around the same theme of sexual frustration and social inadequateness, which turns itself into a boredom. Both, Mansfield and Hemingway refrain from imposing their points of view upon readers, while hoping that stories symbo...
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- Central Stereotypes In Hemingway Hills Like White Elephants
1,095 wordsCentral Stereotypes in Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants The short story Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway was first published in 1927. Despite the fact that is was written in the first half of the last century it touches the problems that remain relevant nowadays. Hemingway in his work touches the global problems of humanity and moral principles, the value of human life. The problem of choice is one of the recurrent themes in Hemingway's works. The short story Hills Like White...
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- Hills Like White Elephants Give The Reader
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- Low Self Esteem Hills Like White Elephants
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- Hills Like White Elephants Clean Well Lighted Place
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- Clean Well Lighted Place Hills Like White Elephants
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