“Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway tells of a man and a woman at a pitstop along a trip. It is clear that the central idea throughout the story is that some individuals put their opinions aside in fear of disappointing others. Hemingway conveys this main idea through an intensely growing conversation about an untold topic between the two.
Starting as an innocent conversation, the man is asking the woman to go through an “awfully simple operation.” As the story progresses it is clear that the woman is unsure about doing whatever it is the man wants her to do, but she keeps bringing it up. As she brings up this mysterious procedure, she questions whether it will make the two “alright and happy again.” This leads back to the central idea showing how unsure she was about it, but questioning whether to do so or not to make the man happy.
Eventually the man starts convincing the woman that she doesn’t have to go through with the procedure if she doesn’t want to while convincing her that he loves her either way. Back to the central idea, now the man is avoiding his personal opinion on the topic to comfort the woman. But, as soon as the two start going against their own beliefs is when the conversation begins to fire up. They both know that they aren’t being fully honest about their opinions, but fail to ever be honest in fear of hurting each other. With the intention of not hurting each other, they instead end up causing more tension by hiding their true feelings. Although Hemingway left out the details on what the conversation between the man and woman was, he left the reader with strong evidence hinting towards the idea of people hiding their opinions to avoid hurting others.
While some people thinking avoiding the reality of what they think can make others happy, that’s not always the case. Likewise to the story, sometimes trying to force others opinions on yourself to bypass conflict does the exact opposite.