© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Hills Like White Elephants

Hills Like White Elephants


by Ernest Hemingway

Hills Like White Elephants Theme of Drugs and Alcohol

Alcohol is more than just a prop in "Hills Like White Elephants" – it seems to be a major part of the main characters’ relationship, though it’s not clear what effect the alcohol is having on their conversation. Unlike some Ernest Hemingway stories, the characters in "Hills Like White Elephants" seem to drink relatively little, but there are dozens of references to alcohol in this very short piece.

Questions About Drugs and Alcohol

  1. What does alcohol mean to the man. To Jig?
  2. Does it upset or bother you to read about a pregnant woman drinking?
  3. What role does alcohol play in the couple’s relationship?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

"Hills Like White Elephants" explores the way alcohol is sometimes used as a buffer in difficult conversations.

Alcohol is just a prop in "Hills Like White Elephants," and doesn’t contribute to the story's bigger issues.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...