"Hills Like White Elephants" is a rich study in human communication. Intense, focused, and concentrated, the story depicts a couple at a crisis point in their relationship. They struggle, in public, to communicate their opposing views on the course their relationship should take. Because the story ends without clear resolution, we will never know how or if they manage to find common ground. It is significant that the story takes place in Spain but is written in English. A close reading of the text reveals all kinds of translation games, which both disorient the reader and comment on communication in the story.
Both characters are terrible communicators.
The characters’ conversation takes place in public, commenting on the differences between public and private conversations.