Hills Like White Elephants

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The Woman (the Waitress) Character Analysis

Throughout the story the girl and the man sit drinking outside the train station bar where the woman is their waitress. Throughout the man and the girl’s conversation about whether to get an abortion, the woman comes and goes bringing them beer and liquor. The woman speaks only Spanish, though Hemingway writes her words as English, and the man must translate the woman’s words for the girl. This situation requiring the man’s translation for the girl characterizes the relationship between the man and the girl and the man’s position of power over her.
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The Woman (the Waitress) Character Timeline in Hills Like White Elephants

The timeline below shows where the character The Woman (the Waitress) appears in Hills Like White Elephants. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Hills Like White Elephants
The Limits of Language Theme Icon
Choice Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Relationships Theme Icon
...girl does not, orders two beers from the Spanish waitress, who is referred to as the woman . (full context)
The Limits of Language Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Relationships Theme Icon
When the woman serves the couple their drinks, they are not talking. The girl is staring at the... (full context)
The Limits of Language Theme Icon
Choice Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Relationships Theme Icon
...del Toro. The girl asks if they can try it, and the man immediately tells the woman to get them two Anis del Toro. The girl isn’t sure whether she should drink... (full context)
The Limits of Language Theme Icon
Freedom vs Family Theme Icon
Men, Women, and Relationships Theme Icon
...again, he claims not to care about the operation, and the girl threatens to scream. The woman appears from the bar to let the couple know that their train will be arriving... (full context)