Hills Like White Elephants
An unnamed American male and a girl named Jig are at a bus stop waiting on a bus. Jig, who happens to be pregnant, defends her pregnancy while the man selfishly wants her to abort the child. During their wait they both go back and forth with each other both trying to be in control of the situation. Jig gets the last word in stating “There is nothing wrong with me." She agrees to abort the child, however; it is not what she truly desires.
Other critics have suggested that " the male's language of distance and control over power’s Jig (O'Brien 22-23) and that Jig knows that she will never bear the child she is carrying." A closer look at what Janet Burroway refers to as the pattern of shifting power, however, reveals a more subversive current in the dialogue--one in which Jig, the xenofemine, outwits her boorish American inamorato and manipulates both the conversation and the man at each turn to control the shared destiny of her and the unborn child(36). Rankin corroborates with Burroway in that the story emerges as a series of parries that demonstrate Jig's superioty in terms of her cognitive intelligence, as well as her experience, her scathing wit, and her facility with ironic sarcasm, all of which cumulate in the absolute straightforwardness of the last line, a line that incidentally coincides with Jig's own dramatic epiphany: "There's nothing wrong with me, I am fine."
Rankin in great detail describes the short story as a man who persists in opposing the continuance of Jig's maturnity, he grossly oversimplifies the issue, even to the point of self-contra-diction, calling the abortion first "an awfully simple operation," and then "not really an operation at all." Here and elsewhere, the excessive modifiers like "awfully" and "really" indicate the man's awareness that this will not be an easy sale and belie his understanding, whether he would be willing to acknowledge this or not, of Jig's formidable...