Ernest Hemingway is one of the main representative modernist authors from the US. Modernism is a literary movement that was especially prominent in the first half of the 20th century. Typical modernist features that you can find in “Hills Like White Elephants” are the focus on the characters (Jig and the man) and the simplistic, minimalist narrative (readers are given very few details about the characters or their background).
Additionally, the story relies on the iceberg theory, a type of minimalism coined by Hemingway himself, which he often made use of. In this writing style, a large percentage of what is truly happening in the story is hidden "beneath the surface", requiring much interpretation from the readers before the full story is understood.
Historical perspective and current issues
“Hills Like White Elephants” was first published in 1927 in a magazine, but it was not very popular during its time. Many editors thought the story was too abstract and ambiguous and that it would be hard for the readers to understand it. However, in the 1990s, the story became more popular as readers’ preferen...