Hills Like White Elephants
Drugs and Alcohol Quotes Page 1
How we cite our quotes:
"Four reales." "We want two Anis del Toro." (17-18)
This is an interesting but potentially confusing moment. We can see by the two pairs of quotation marks, that we have two speakers. The second speaker is the American. The first speaker is probably the woman serving the drinks, charging another customer inside the bar "Four reales" for his or her order. A reale was a unit of Spanish currency in circulation during the 1920s, at the time this story was written. Today, the official currency of Spain, like many European countries, is the Euro.
"Yes," said the girl. "Everything tastes of licorice. Especially all the things you've waited so long for, like absinthe." (27)
Absinthe is an important part of Hemingway lore. Many famous writers and artists, such as Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, and Oscar Wilde used Absinthe as part of the creative process. The fact that Jig knows what it tastes like seems to irritate the man. Why?
"I wanted to try this new drink. That's all we do, isn't it – look at things and try new drinks?" (33)
Jig seems a bit tired of her fashionable, cosmopolitan existence with the man. Next to the idea of marriage and a family, it strikes her as empty. She craves change.