READ THE STORY IN ATTACHMENTS
What is this story about? What are the two characters discussing, and what is their relationship to each other?
Answer should be in two paragraphs, at least five sentences per paragraph, and 1 page long (please do not go over 1 page). Use of proper grammar and wording is important so watch the use of slang and cliches.
HILLS LIKE WHITE ELEPHANTS
The hills across the valley of the Ebro’ were long and white. On this side
there was no shade and no trees and the station was between two lines of
rails in the sun. Close against the side of the station there was the warm
shadow of the building and a curtain, made of strings of bamboo beads,
hung across the open door into the bar, to keep out flies. The American and
the girl with him sat at a table in the shade, outside the building. It was very
hot and the express from Barcelona would come in forty minutes. It
stopped at this junction for two minutes and went on to Madrid.
“What should we drink?” the girl asked. She had taken off her hat and
put it on the table.
“It’s pretty hot,” the man said.
“Let’s drink beer.”
“Dos cervezas,” the man said into the curtain.
“Big ones?” a woman asked from the doorway.
“Yes. Two big ones.”
The woman brought two glasses of beer and two felt pads. She put the
felt pads and the beer glasses on the table and looked at the man and the
girl. The girl was looking off at the line of hills. They were white in the sun
and the country was brown and dry.
“They look like white elephants,” she said.
“I’ve never seen one,” the man drank his beer.
“No, you wouldn’t have.”
” I might have,” the man said. “Just because you say I wouldn’t have
doesn’t prove anything.”
The girl looked at the bead curtain. “They’ve painted something on it,”
she said. “What does it say?”
“Anis del Toro. It’s a drink.”
“Could we try it?”
The man called “Listen” through the curtain. The woman came out
from the bar.
“We want two Anis del Toro.”
“Do you want it with water?”
” I don’t know,” the girl said. “Is it good with water?”
“It’s all right.”
“You want them with water?” asked the woman.
1. River in the north of Spain.
Ernest Hemingway 229
“Yes, with water.”
” I t tastes like licorice,” the girl said and put the glass down.
“That’s the way with everything.”
“Yes,” said the girl. “Everything tastes of licorice. Especially all the
things you’ve waited so long for, like absinthe.”
“Oh, cut it out.”
“You started it,” the girl said. ” I was being amused. I was having a fine
“Well, let’s try and have a fine time.”
“All right. I was trying. I said the mountains looked like white ele-
phants. Wasn’t that bright?”
“That was bright.”
” I wanted to try this new drink. That’s all we do, isn’t it—look at things
and try new drinks?”
” I guess so.”
The girl looked across at the hills.
“They’re lovely hills,” she said. “They don’t really look like white ele-
phants. I just meant the coloring of their skin through the trees.” “Should
we have another drink?”
The warm wind blew the bead curtain against the table.
“The beer’s nice and cool,” the man said.
“It’s lovely,” the girl said.
“It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig,” the man said. “It’s not
really an o
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