Hills Like White Elephants


Ernest Hemingway

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on White Elephants can help.

Barren/Fertile Land

As the story opens, we are introduced first and foremost to the setting’s barren landscape, which is described as “brown and dry,” with “no shade” and “no trees.” Yet while the story feels as though…

(read full symbol analysis)


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…

(read full symbol analysis)


Drinking is the only source of relief that the man and the girl can find from both the harsh, hot sunlight and the complications of their own relationship. For such a short story, both characters…

(read full symbol analysis)

The Train Station

In literature, crossroads often represent a situation in which a character needs to make a crucial decision—just as the character must choose a physical path, they must symbolically choose a life path. In this story…

(read full symbol analysis)