In "Hills Like White Elephants," everything is boiled down and condensed. The extreme shortness of this story makes its point all the more powerful. Hemingway's writing is journalistic and no-nonsense; he reports dialogue cleanly and directly, without any fluffy adjectives or fancy descriptions. This tight economy of words is one of the things that made Hemingway so famous in the 1920s, and his distinctive style is still much admired to this day.
While the narration might seem cold and detached, emotion is present – it's just below the surface. The more we explore this story, the more we feel what Jig and the man might be feeling, and the more our own emotions try to come to the surface.