The events in the story are suffused with the pounding light of the sun and the heat it produces. From the story’s opening we are aware of the sun’s heat, drying the grass of the hills, driving passengers into the shade of the station’s bar and the comfort of drink. Yet while the light can be seen as harsh, it also represents the light of truth and honesty, which neither the man nor the girl is willing to face. Instead, the two prefer to avoid honestly discussing the serious problems in their relationship. Neither has the strength to face the issue of the abortion head on, and as a result, both spar in the “warm shadow” of the bar, discussing everything except the real terms of their crumbling relationship. The light may be harsh then, but avoiding the light as the man and girl do is portrayed as destructive.
Light Quotes in Hills Like White Elephants
“Come on back in the shade,” he said. “You mustn’t feel that way.”
“I don’t feel any way,” the girl said. “I just know things.”