Sunday, October 12, 2008

And The Winner Is....

The winner for the most obscure and confusing story of the semester is..."The Hills Like White Elephants." Congratulations to Mr. Ernest Hemingway for his outstanding work in confusing the hell out of me.

Unfortunately, I was absent on the day that the class discussed this reading because I feel it would have greatly enhanced my understanding of this short story. However, since I was not present, I can continue to preach about how befuddling this short story was, at least to me.

First off, I must tip my hat to my classmates who understood exactly what Hemingway was referring to in the story. When I first heard that this story was about abortion, one question immediately popped into my mind: Did I read the right story? So to the people who knew what the story was about before it was discussed as a class, I must ask, how in the hell did you know he was talking about abortion? Personally, I didn't even realize there was a deeper meaning to the story, let alone that the story was truly about abortion. I mean I suppose that Hemingway was playing with narration when he wrote the story, and therefore intentionally wrote the story in a way that talks about something without directly coming out and telling the reader what he is talking about. If implementing this style of writing was his way of challenging the reader, then I will gladly admit that I definitely was not up to the challenge the day that I read that short story.

I understand that Hemingway was trying to do something different, and I can admire him for being a "trendsetter", but with no reference to the true topic of the story, I am still left wondering how I was suppose to know that the story was truly about abortion. Better yet, how does a story entitled "The Hills Like White Elephants" translate into a profound story, or rather dialogue, about abortion?

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