The Importance of Reading Ernest discussion

Hills Like White Elephants > First Impressions (see first posting)

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message 1: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 219 comments Mod
Hills Like White Elephants is one of Hemingway's most discussed short stories, and much of the discussion centers around what the man and the girl are talking about.

None of that here.

Try to keep your first impressions away from that bit. I'm going to go and make a topic just for that right now. Hope you all like this month's choice.

message 2: by Gary (new)

Gary | 400 comments Mod
question? first impressions on story? is this the 2nd i finish reading the last word of the story, or are you looking or when i've read the first 3 or 4 pages, then make a comment or two before going on to finish it?


message 3: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 219 comments Mod
whichever you like.

message 4: by Gio (new)

Gio (giobannaschlitz) it's hard to avoid the big elephant in the room :) but i'll try.

the first thing that really hit me was that this conversation between our two main characters could happen in the present day. living in europe, seeing someone with luggage, drinking at the cafe between the platforms is literally an every day occurrance. i'm always impressed how timeless hemingway can be with his writing. there's very little reference to time (but always place), so as a reader, you can put whatever time you want within his stories.

message 5: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 219 comments Mod
I am so far away from a "first impression" with this story, after having read it so many times I've lost count, but this time through I was immediately struck by how unlikable both of these people are for me, yet I love their story and care about them for all that. They are both incredibly selfish, and their tactics with one another are appalling. I think I love them because, as I've said before in our discussions here, Hemingway makes them genuine. His characters are real.

message 6: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Yes, it's been a long while since I had a first impression about this story. I've tried to recall my initial reaction but it's lost in the ethereal thing I call a memory bank. I vaguely recall thinking this setting, these people, this subject matter are timeless.

message 7: by Gio (new)

Gio (giobannaschlitz) brad said I was immediately struck by how unlikable both of these people are for me...

i completely understand what you're saying here. but they are so utterly human aren't they?

message 8: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 219 comments Mod
They are. I can totally understand their perspectives and that makes me empathize despite my personal feelings.

message 9: by Gary (new)

Gary | 400 comments Mod
i promise i will finally read the story tomorrow. i am in the middle of THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY,and loving it. it's a hoot. my oldest son read it when he was in 5th grade,and has been telling me all along that i must read it. he just graduated from high school,and turned 19. gives you an idea of how long i've heard about it,and finally am reading it.

time for bed, fred! it's freakin 2am i just realized! nite, nite!

message 10: by Brad (new)

Brad (judekyle) | 219 comments Mod
I haven't read it either, but none of my kids are old enough to push their recommendation yet. I need to read it for myself though.

message 11: by Gio (new)

Gio (giobannaschlitz) i've read it - its quite fun and on the quirky side so if you like quirk, you'll like the book

message 12: by Gary (new)

Gary | 400 comments Mod
i like quirky. i find myself laughing outloud quite a bit. my son just smiles. ha!

message 13: by Gary (new)

Gary | 400 comments Mod
i wrote a review for HITCHHIKER'S. i've had over 160 comments since i posted it. hilarious bantering back and forth. you guys check it out,and vote yes that you liked my review. i got 4, count them 4 ,friends requests after the review,and posts. enjoy!

message 14: by Gary (new)

Gary | 400 comments Mod
anybody out there??/ hello????? *echo echo echo* why aren't the other members making comments??? can we get the ball rolling here?????

message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Chill man. Take a deep breath. I just bought the book yesterday while I was on the road. All my Hemingway is packed somewhere at the moment and I'll be at a conference this week so I won't be making any comments for a while.

message 16: by Stephen (new)

Stephen (stephenT) Gary, I can't find my Hemingway short stories! It's off to the library for me. Then I'll post like a crazy person. Wait, I am a crazy person. LOL

message 17: by Matt (new)

Matt Brad: Very interested in what you found to be unlikeable about Jig. The man is obviously being pushy in his unilateral decision making and not taking her desires or safety in mind whatsoever. Jig is a bit passive aggressive in a way that would be totally annoying in these modern times, but I chalked that up to being a statement of the imbalance of power in relationships at the time that this was written.

message 18: by Gary (new)

Gary | 400 comments Mod
interesting points, tadpole. i do think some of hemingway's stories do reflect signs of the times,and he was certainly in charge in his relationships with women.

message 19: by Gary (new)

Gary | 400 comments Mod
but i also think many of his stories could happen today, and in some situations i could see this exact thing still happen, because in the midwest , where we hail from a lot of women are controlled by their husbands,and bfs. don't you think?

message 20: by Matt (new)

Matt Oh, you're totally right Gary, especially in this part of the country, as sad as it may be...

The story was very timeless. I'm not sure if there was anything that would point to a particular time period.

message 21: by Meredith (new)

Meredith (ladybrettashley) | 17 comments guys - i love this story, but it's been a while since i read it. so - here goes with first impressions...

brad & gio - i don't like the characters either, but like you both, i care for them.

tadpole - i don't like them because they're both assholes. they're both pushing their own agenda on the other and trying to make the other feel guilty hoping that they'll cave. neither listens to one another or respects their wishes. she asks him to stop talking & he keeps talking. she doesn't respect his need to talk things through.

jig's comment about not caring about herself so she'll do whatever the 'american man' wants is SO ridiculous. It seems to me like she's either
a)blatently manipulating him by playing like she has no self worth without his attentions (in hopes that he'll give in to her way of thinking)
b) she's so distracted with their relationship issues that she couldn't possibly worry about herself and therefore has no backbone an no shred of independence which makes me not like her (although still feel for her). either way - ick!

and him - OMG. he's trying to console her with unfounded heresay evidence that he obviously wants to believe for the sole purpose of advancing his own agenda without real concern or thought about what it would mean for her overall well-being. he's either conscious of this or he isn't, but either way it's unlikeable.

the thing i dislike the most about both of them is that neither actually says, point blank, what's on their minds. they allude to it, but they never say "i want x, what do you want?". hello - emo101!

finally, i dislike them because neither's motivations are admirable. her motivation is to keep their relationship going so that he continues to dote on her and his is to erradicate any possible hinderance to his life the way he likes it. ick!

sidebar - i love the bartender. i invision her having picked up on the tension between the characters which prompts her to ask if they want two BIG beers v. just two regular beers.

finally, i like the symbolism between the two sides of the tracks: the lush plains with the trees and the shade and the barren monochromatic unshaded area with no vegetation. will not elaborate here, but i think it's brilliant.

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