Reading and Research Writing
25 January 2015
Love is a four-letter word that is a necessary ingredient for the life of every individual. When asked, “what is the meaning of love?” we all could go on in great lengths giving wonderful examples about this magical word, but “love” is something that needs “to be experienced rather than explained”. The young couples in "Hills Like White Elephants” and the “Good People” are displaying to the readers a “true experience” on what “love” is or “is not”. Sheri and Jig have become pregnant in a time that just happens to be inconvenient for the path that they and their boyfriends are on at in this specific moment in life. Lane Jr. and the “American” are indecisive, hesitant and unsure about keeping the unborn baby that each woman is carrying. Hemingway and Wallace both leave us wondering if the men in our stories actually love these pregnant women. Though there is ambivalence with the decision at hand, I feel that both Lane Jr. and the “ American” do in fact “love” Sheri and Jig, and with communication and time these young couples will embrace this difficult “crossroad” and experience love.
The ambivalence that the young couples share during this heart wrenching decision is one that could be understood on a universal level. Pregnancy ambivalence is a term that blurs the lines between intended and unintended pregnancy due to the fact that a child is something irreversible, a change that brings on tremendous responsibility for all parties. To overcome this ambivalence the lines of communication need to open up. We see that Jig and the “American” have difficulty articulating their feelings. "Would you please please please please please please please stop talking?” (Hemingway) This is the way Jig expresses herself when she becomes frustrated with the American instead of telling him how she really feels. We also see ineffective communication with Lane Jr and Sheri as well when Sheri politely states, “That Lane should please please sweetie let her finish”. (Wallace) They’re both trying to cut each other off, in the sense of interrupting each other. This lack of communication does not show that these men do not love these woman it is that they do not know how to effectively communicate their feelings. It’s no secret that communication can make or break any relationship, especially one that is facing such a serious predicament.
We see the American show his voice in the story, as he tries to comfort Jig as well as help her make this important decision. “I don’t want to make you do anything you don’t want to” (Hemingway). Some readers might feel that the America is trying to “perhaps” sway Jig into having a abortion and that if he “loved” her that he would never try to convince her to have “ a simple operation” (Hemingway) One could also say that the American is selfish, but this is where I see that his glimpse of the future is limited. He is unable to see past the moment at