U2 SS Answer/Ask Discussion Post

Answering Marcus’ Question:┬áIn hills like white elephants, how does the author lead the reader toward his central idea without explicitly saying it?

Through the use of diction and dialogue between the two characters, the reader can infer what the decisions and choices that the woman has made by giving hints about her “abortion.” We acknowledge this through the conversation that the man and the girl have on the train. Major hints such as “It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig” and “I’ll go with you and I’ll stay with you all the time. They just let the air in and then it’s all perfectly natural,” captures the readers attention to acknowledge this abortion that the girl wants to have. As the conversation progresses, we see that the man is awfully concerned with the whole procedure and wants to take care of the girl as much as possible. The author also drops hints in the setting that he places the girl and the man in. Taking place in the early 1920s, the author sets the scene for the relationship between the man and the woman as a couple on a train heading to their destination. “Across, on the other side, were fields of grain and trees along the banks of the Ebro. Far away, beyond the river, were mountains. The shadow of a cloud moved across the field of grain and she saw the river through the trees.” This cinematic view is a metaphor that the author describes of the life the couple could’ve had as a family.

Question: In Hills like White Elephants, how do we know that the girl is going to either go or not go through this procedure?

Discussion Post Explication: Clifton

Line 4: they don’t fit into little

Line 5: petty places. these hips

Line 6: are free hips.

This free verse poem that Clifton writes about, uses repetition to describe to the audience why her “hips” are important. In the fourth line, Clifton uses enjambment to describe that her hips are wide and don’t fit into small places. She backs her evidence “petty places” (l.5) that her hips stand out and they are unique to her. She concludes her statement with personification as she writes “free hips” (l.6) to identify that because of her hips, she feels confident about her body image. She allows them to do whatever they want because they are significant to her.