Project 1 : Understanding Different Narrative Style Essay

  Part 1: Retelling (Final Draft)


“Hills Like White Elephants”

Ernest Hemingway

Page 2:

        Jigs was describing the beautiful scenery across the distance, she said “the hills and mountain appears to look like white elephants”, as she sat at the Spanish train station across from Jill’s. The man was hoping that his girlfriend was having a great time, but she doesn’t seem to be. She suddenly repeated herself again to get his attention, she said “the mountains looks like white elephants”.

The mountains appears to be bright as white elephants as described by Jigs. It was breathtaking and grabbed both of their attentions as they stared at it across from the distance. Jigs wanted to try some new drinks, and that’s all she felt like doing, is look at things and try new drinks. Jigs looked across the hills and notice how lovely they were to her. Although it seems as if they don’t really appear to look like white elephants to the man.

They continue to have another drink, as the warm wind blew the bead curtain against the table, Jigs and the man continue to enjoy their cold drinks. The man was trying to convince Jigs how simple it would be if she had the operation done, but Jigs insisted it wasn’t just a simple operation, and she looked at the ground where the tables legs rested on. He continue to comfort and explains how easy the operation is going to be if she had it done. Jigs was silent, she had too much on her mind, and didn’t say a word after that.  

The man was so convinced that this is all going to be a simple operation, and explains to her that all they’re going to do is put some air in, and it will all be alright afterward. Jigs was feeling nervous and pressure to having the operation. He insisted that she had this operation done, and promises that afterward they would be happy again, just like they did before. Jigs had a tough time processing the decision, and she doesn’t know what to do.

The man then tells her that this is the only thing that is keeping them from being happy. Without saying a word she look at the bead curtain, put her hand out and took hold of two of the strings of the beads, then she asked him “will everything be alright”, “and will they be happy after this”. He told her everything will be alright and they will be happy after she had the operation done.

Jigs was nervous and feeling pressure, but he remained her that everything will be alright, and that he knows a lot of people who had this done before. She was still not convinced about the operation, and asked him many question as she was afraid to having it done. At that point he decide to stop convincing her, and told her that she doesn’t need to have this done if she didn’t want to.

He calmly explains to her that he didn’t want her to do anything that she wouldn’t want. But he was still convince to tell her that it would be a simple operation. She feeling pressure that he really wants her to go have this operation. This operation seem to be the only thing that’s on the man mind. She now feels the motivation to have the operation done only if it meant to make the man happy. Jigs knows that he would be more happy and loves her more if she had it done.

Jigs was convinced if she had it done everything will be alright, and that he’ll love her like he loved when she say things are white like elephants, the man then said he’ll love it. But he can’t be worrying about that right now. she didn’t want him to worry about the operation, so she  insisted if she had it done that he’ll stop worrying about it. but it doesn’t appear that the man was worry about Jigs having the operation done, because he knows it was all a simple operation.

 Finally, Jigs had decided to get the operation done. She would get it done only because she doesn’t care about herself, and her own body. The man felt frustrated that she doesn’t care about herself. She repeated herself telling him that she doesn’t care about herself. He didn’t want her to say those things about herself. He told her that he cares about her, even if she doesn’t care for herself.

Jigs wants to get the operation done and over with so that they can be happy in the end, but he told her he didn’t want her to do it if she didn’t care about herself and her decision. She stood up and walked to the end of the station. 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 grains and she saw the river through the trees.


Part 2: Thinking About Retelling (Final Draft)


The new version of “Hills Like White Elephants” written by Ernest Hemingway is a third person omniscient narrative style. In the original version of “Hills Like White Elephants”, the author used a third person objective narration style. Which lets the narrator knows what the characters say, see, and do. On the other hand, a third person omniscient allows the narrator to have access to what the characters, say, see, do and think. So by changing it to a third person omniscient, it allow the narrator to have access oo knowing what the characters feeling and thoughts.

Comparing the differences between the old version and the new version is, the old version was written mainly in dialogue, which in my opinion makes it harder to read. On the other hand the new version is written so that is separated into smaller section, and is in third person which means the narrator is the only person in the story that is speaking. The new version is easier to understand because the narrator is telling us what is happening in the story. Rather then the first version the narrator was only telling us what the characters are saying and doing, and not really telling us what was happening within the story, and leaves us confuse to what the story is mainly about.

“Hills Like White Elephants” written by Ernest Hemingway, is a third person objective narrative style, the narrator used the “fly-on-the-wall” technique to write the story. In the story it didn’t tell us what the characters were thinking, it only show what the characters do, see, and say in the story. Since the story was put together in the past tense we can assume that the author wrote the story base from memories, which makes it a bit confusing for the reader to piece the story together. The original version had lots of metaphor, and symbolic terms, which the new version lacks.

The theme that stuck out from the original version is the languages and communication style that was used. The story was converted into translation from spanish to english, and the author mainly did this for his english readers, mostly focusing on translating what jigs was saying. I choose third person omniscient as a narrative style for this story, because the original version was mostly written in dialogue, which was harder to read. An example would be making it harder to tell which character is speaking. On the other hands it was clear to tell when the narrator was speaking. The story was complicated to piece together, because we didn’t understand what the characters were thinking, and what was it they’re talking about, such as the operation. It’s kind of almost like recording a conversation between two people.

The narrator tells us the surrounding of the place, and what the characters say. But doesn’t allow us to know what’s going on between the two characters, or what was it the conversation was about. In the original version on page two, at the top quote  “‘Then what will we do afterwards?’‘We’ll be fine afterwards. Just like we were before.’‘What makes you think so?’” In this quote it didn’t allow the reader to understand Jigs emotion and feeling, or what’s going on in her mind. On the other hand, from the new version with the third person omniscient, “Jigs was nervous and feeling pressure, but he remained her that everything will be alright, and that he knows a lot of people who had this done before.” This gives more details to how Jigs was feeling during that conversation.

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