Paper #2 – 20 %
Due: Week 11 – Monday, April 26, 2021 No emailed submissions!
Compare and analyze the central male character in Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills like White Elephants”and the husband in Chekhov’s short story, “The Husband.” What do they have in common and why?
Hint: You should decide on a very strong link that brings the two together and develop the focus/essay around that. This is not a compare and contrast. You’re not comparing apples to oranges.
Five well developed paragraphs that equal 2 pages (this does not include the title page). You need a title page.
The essay must be typed, be double-spaced, use a 12 point font, and be in the font of Times New Roman.
The essay must be in APA Style (title page and body).
Research, support, quotations, citations, and reference page are not required for this essay.
Analysis, strong thesis statement, development, organization of ideas, focus, the rules of grammar, and APA Style will be considered during the grading of this paper.
Good luck, and ask me if you need help.
ERNEST HEMINGWAY (1899-4961) HILLS LIKE WHITE ELEPHANTS
The hills across the valley of the Ebro’ were long and white. On this side there was no shade and no trees and the station was between two lines of rails in the sun. Close against the side of the station there was the warm shadow of the building and a curtain, made of strings of bamboo beads, hung across the open door into the bar, to keep out flies. The American and the girl with him sat at a table in the shade, outside the building. It was very hot and the express from Barcelona would come in forty minutes. It stopped at this junction for two minutes and went on to Madrid. “What should we drink?” the girl asked. She had taken off her hat and put it on the table. “It’s pretty hot,” the man said. “Let’s drink beer.” “Dos cervezas,” the man said into the curtain. “Big ones?” a woman asked from the doorway. “Yes. Two big ones.” The woman brought two glasses of beer and two felt pads. She put the felt pads and the beer glasses on the table and looked at the man and the girl. The girl was looking off at the line of hills. They were white in the sun and the country was brown and dry. “They look like white elephants,” she said. “I’ve never seen one,” the man drank his beer. “No, you wouldn’t have.” “I might have,” the man said. “Just because you say I wouldn’t have doesn’t prove anything.” The girl looked at the bead curtain. “They’ve painted something on it,” she said. “What does it say?” “Anis del Toro. It’s a drink.” “Could we try it?” The man called “Listen” through the curtain. The woman came out from the bar. “Four reales.” “We want two Anis del Toro.” “With water?” “Do you want it with water?” “I don’t know,” the girl said. “Is it good with water?” “It’s all right.” “You want them with water?” asked the woman. 1. River in the north of Spain. Ernest Hemingway 229 “Yes, with water.” “It tastes like licorice,” the girl said and put the glass down. “That’s the way with everything.” “Yes,” said the girl. “Everything tastes of licorice. Especially all the things you’ve waited so long for, like absinthe.” “Oh, cut it out.” “You started it,” the girl said. “I was being amused. I was having a fine time.” “Well, let’s try and have a fine time.” “All right. I was trying. I said the mountains looked like white elephants. Wasn’t that bright?” “That was bright.” “I wanted to try this new drink. That’s all we do, isn’t it—look at things and try new drinks?” ” I guess so.” The girl looked across at the hills. “They’re lovely hills,” she said. “They don’t really look like white elephants. I just meant the coloring of their skin through the trees.” “Should we have another drink?” “All right.” The warm wind blew the bead curtain against the table. “The beer’s nice and cool,” the man said. “It’s lovely,” the girl said. “It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig,” the man said. “It’s not really an operation at all.” The girl looked at the ground the table legs rested on. ” I know you wouldn’t mind it, Jig. It’s really not anything. It’s just to let the air in.” The girl did not say anything. “I’ll go with you and I’ll stay with you all the time. They just let the air in and then it’s all perfectly natural.” “Then what will we do afterward?” “We’ll be fine afterward. Just like we were before.” “What makes you think so?” “That’s the only thing that bothers us. It’s the only thing that’s made us unhappy.” The girl looked at the bead curtain, put her hand out and took hold of two of the strings of beads. “And you think then we’ll be all right and be happy.” “I know we will. You don’t have to be afraid. I’ve known lots of people that have done it.” “So have I,” said the girl. “And afterward they were all so happy.” “Well,” the man said, “if you don’t want to you don’t have to. I wouldn’t have you do it if you didn’t want to. But I know it’s perfectly simple.” “And you really want to?” 230 Short Fiction ” I think it’s the best thing to do. But I don’t want you to do it if you don’t really want to.” “And if I do it you’ll be happy and things will be like they were and you’ll love me?” “I love you now. You know I love you.” “I know. But if I do it, then it will be nice again if I say things are like white elephants, and you’ll like it?” “I’ll love it. I love it now but I just can’t think about it. You know how I get when I worry.” “If I do it you won’t ever worry?” ” I won’t worry about that because it’s perfectly simple.” “Then I’ll do it. Because I don’t care about me.” “What do you mean?” ” I don’t care about me.” “Well, I care about you.” “Oh, yes. But I don’t care about me. And I’ll do it and then everything will be fine.” ” I don’t want you to do it if you feel that way.” The girl stood up and walked to the end of the station. Across, on the other side, were fields of grain and trees along the banks of the Ebro. Far away, beyond the river, were mountains. The shadow of a cloud moved across the field of grain and she saw the river through the trees. “And we could have all this,” she said. “And we could have everything and every day we make it more impossible.” “What did you say?” “I said we could have everything.” “We can have everything.” “No, we can’t.” “We can have the whole world.” “No, we can’t.” “We can go everywhere.” “No, we can’t. It isn’t ours any more.” “It’s ours.” “No, it isn’t. And once they take it away, you never get it back.” “But they haven’t taken it away.” “We’ll wait and see.” “Come on back in the shade,” he said. “You mustn’t feel that way.” “I don’t feel any way,” the girl said. “I just know things.” ” I don’t want you to do anything that you don’t want to do—” “Nor that isn’t good for me,” she said. “I know. Could we have another beer?” “All right. But you’ve got to realize—” “I realize,” the girl said. “Can’t we maybe stop talking?” They sat down at the table and the girl looked across at the hills on the dry side of the valley and the man looked at her and at the table. “You’ve got to realize,” he said, “that I don’t want you to do it if you Ernest Hemingway 231 don’t want to. I’m perfectly willing to go through with it if it means any-thing to you.” “Doesn’t it mean anything to you? We could get along.” “Of course it does. But I don’t want anybody but you. I don’t want any one else. And I know it’s perfectly simple.” “Yes, you know it’s perfectly simple.” “It’s all right for you to say that, but I do know it.” “Would you do something for me now?” “I’d do anything for you.” “Would you please please please please please please please stop talking?” He did not say anything but looked at the bags against the wall of the station. There were labels on them from all the hotels where they had spent nights. “But I don’t want you to,” he said, “I don’t care anything about it.” “I’ll scream,” the girl said. The woman came out through the curtains with two glasses of beer and put them down on the damp felt pads. “The train comes in five minutes,” she said. “What did she say?” asked the girl. “That the train is coming in five minutes.” The girl smiled brightly at the woman, to thank her. “I’d better take the bags over to the other side of the station,” the man said. She smiled at him. “All right. Then come back and we’ll finish the beer.” He picked up the two heavy bags and carried them around the station to the other tracks. He looked up the tracks but could not see the train. Coming back, he walked through the barroom, where people waiting for the train were drinking. He drank an Anis at the bar and looked at the people. They were all waiting reasonably for the train. He went out through the bead curtain. She was sitting at the table and smiled at him. “Do you feel better?” he asked. “I feel fine,” she said. “There’s nothing wrong with me. I feel fine.”
IN the course of the maneuvres the N—- cavalry regiment halted for a night at the district town of K—-. Such an event as the visit of officers always has the most exciting and inspiring effect on the inhabitants of provincial towns. The shopkeepers dream of getting rid of the rusty sausages and “best brand” sardines that have been lying for ten years on their shelves; the inns and restaurants keep open all night; the Military Commandant, his secretary, and the local garrison put on their best uniforms; the police flit to and fro like mad, while the effect on the ladies is beyond all description.
The ladies of K—-, hearing the regiment approaching, forsook their pans of boiling jam and ran into the street. Forgetting their morning deshabille and general untidiness, they rushed breathless with excitement to meet the regiment, and listened greedily to the band playing the march. Looking at their pale, ecstatic faces, one might have thought those strains came from some heavenly choir rather than from a military brass band.
“The regiment!” they cried joyfully. “The regiment is coming!”
What could this unknown regiment that came by chance to-day and would depart at dawn to-morrow mean to them?
Afterwards, when the officers were standing in the middle of the square, and, with their hands behind them, discussing the question of billets, all the ladies were gathered together at the examining magistrate’s and vying with one another in their criticisms of the regiment. They already knew, goodness knows how, that the colonel was married, but not living with his wife; that the senior officer’s wife had a baby born dead every year; that the adjutant was hopelessly in love with some countess, and had even once attempted suicide. They knew everything. When a pock-marked soldier in a red shirt darted past the windows, they knew for certain that it was Lieutenant Rymzov’s orderly running about the town, trying to get some English bitter ale on tick for his master. They had only caught a passing glimpse of the officers’ backs, but had already decided that there was not one handsome or interesting man among them. . . . Having talked to their hearts’ content, they sent for the Military Commandant and the committee of the club, and instructed them at all costs to make arrangements for a dance.
Their wishes were carried out. At nine o’clock in the evening the military band was playing in the street before the club, while in the club itself the officers were dancing with the ladies of K—-. The ladies felt as though they were on wings. Intoxicated by the dancing, the music, and the clank of spurs, they threw themselves heart and soul into making the acquaintance of their new partners, and quite forgot their old civilian friends. Their fathers and husbands, forced temporarily into the background, crowded round the meagre refreshment table in the entrance hall. All these government cashiers, secretaries, clerks, and superintendents — stale, sickly-looking, clumsy figures — were perfectly well aware of their inferiority. They did not even enter the ball-room, but contented themselves with watching their wives and daughters in the distance dancing with the accomplished and graceful officers.
Among the husbands was Shalikov, the tax-collector — a narrow, spiteful soul, given to drink, with a big, closely cropped head, and thick, protruding lips. He had had a university education; there had been a time when he used to read progressive literature and sing students’ songs, but now, as he said of himself, he was a tax-collector and nothing more.
He stood leaning against the doorpost, his eyes fixed on his wife, Anna Pavlovna, a little brunette of thirty, with a long nose and a pointed chin. Tightly laced, with her face carefully powdered, she danced without pausing for breath — danced till she was ready to drop exhausted. But though she was exhausted in body, her spirit was inexhaustible. . . . One could see as she danced that her thoughts were with the past, that faraway past when she used to dance at the “College for Young Ladies,” dreaming of a life of luxury and gaiety, and never doubting that her husband was to be a prince or, at the worst, a baron.
The tax-collector watched, scowling with spite. . . .
It was not jealousy he was feeling. He was ill-humoured — first, because the room was taken up with dancing and there was nowhere he could play a game of cards; secondly, because he could not endure the sound of wind instruments; and, thirdly, because he fancied the officers treated the civilians somewhat too casually and disdainfully. But what above everything revolted him and moved him to indignation was the expression of happiness on his wife’s face.
“It makes me sick to look at her!” he muttered. “Going on for forty, and nothing to boast of at any time, and she must powder her face and lace herself up! And frizzing her hair! Flirting and making faces, and fancying she’s doing the thing in style! Ugh! you’re a pretty figure, upon my soul!”
Anna Pavlovna was so lost in the dance that she did not once glance at her husband.
“Of course not! Where do we poor country bumpkins come in!” sneered the tax-collector.
“We are at a discount now. . . . We’re clumsy seals, unpolished provincial bears, and she’s the queen of the ball! She has kept enough of her looks to please even officers. . . They’d not object to making love to her, I dare say!”
During the mazurka the tax-collector’s face twitched with spite. A black-haired officer with prominent eyes and Tartar cheekbones danced the mazurka with Anna Pavlovna. Assuming a stern expression, he worked his legs with gravity and feeling, and so crooked his knees that he looked like a jack-a-dandy pulled by strings, while Anna Pavlovna, pale and thrilled, bending her figure languidly and turning her eyes up, tried to look as though she scarcely touched the floor, and evidently felt herself that she was not on earth, not at the local club, but somewhere far, far away — in the clouds. Not only her face but her whole figure was expressive of beatitude. . . . The tax-collector could endure it no longer; he felt a desire to jeer at that beatitude, to make Anna Pavlovna feel that she had forgotten herself, that life was by no means so delightful as she fancied now in her excitement. . . .
“You wait; I’ll teach you to smile so blissfully,” he muttered. “You are not a boarding-school miss, you are not a girl. An old fright ought to realise she is a fright!”
Petty feelings of envy, vexation, wounded vanity, of that small, provincial misanthropy engendered in petty officials by vodka and a sedentary life, swarmed in his heart like mice. Waiting for the end of the mazurka, he went into the hall and walked up to his wife. Anna Pavlovna was sitting with her partner, and, flirting her fan and coquettishly dropping her eyelids, was describing how she used to dance in Petersburg (her lips were pursed up like a rosebud, and she pronounced “at home in P�t�rsburg”).
“Anyuta, let us go home,” croaked the tax-collector.
Seeing her husband standing before her, Anna Pavlovna started as though recalling the fact that she had a husband; then she flushed all over: she felt ashamed that she had such a sickly-looking, ill-humoured, ordinary husband.
“Let us go home,” repeated the tax-collector.
“Why? It’s quite early!”
“I beg you to come home!” said the tax-collector deliberately, with a spiteful expression.
“Why? Has anything happened?” Anna Pavlovna asked in a flutter.
“Nothing has happened, but I wish you to go home at once. . . . I wish it; that’s enough, and without further talk, please.”
Anna Pavlovna was not afraid of her husband, but she felt ashamed on account of her partner, who was looking at her husband with surprise and amusement. She got up and moved a little apart with her husband.
“What notion is this?” she began. “Why go home? Why, it’s not eleven o’clock.”
“I wish it, and that’s enough. Come along, and that’s all about it.”
“Don’t be silly! Go home alone if you want to.”
“All right; then I shall make a scene.”
The tax-collector saw the look of beatitude gradually vanish from his wife’s face, saw how ashamed and miserable she was — and he felt a little happier.
“Why do you want me at once?” asked his wife.
“I don’t want you, but I wish you to be at home. I wish it, that’s all.”
At first Anna Pavlovna refused to hear of it, then she began entreating her husband to let her stay just another half-hour; then, without knowing why, she began to apologise, to protest — and all in a whisper, with a smile, that the spectators might not suspect that she was having a tiff with her husband. She began assuring him she would not stay long, only another ten minutes, only five minutes; but the tax-collector stuck obstinately to his point.
“Stay if you like,” he said, “but I’ll make a scene if you do.”
And as she talked to her husband Anna Pavlovna looked thinner, older, plainer. Pale, biting her lips, and almost crying, she went out to the entry and began putting on her things.
“You are not going?” asked the ladies in surprise. “Anna Pavlovna, you are not going, dear?”
“Her head aches,” said the tax-collector for his wife.
Coming out of the club, the husband and wife walked all the way home in silence. The tax-collector walked behind his wife, and watching her downcast, sorrowful, humiliated little figure, he recalled the look of beatitude which had so irritated him at the club, and the consciousness that the beatitude was gone filled his soul with triumph. He was pleased and satisfied, and at the same time he felt the lack of something; he would have liked to go back to the club and make every one feel dreary and miserable, so that all might know how stale and worthless life is when you walk along the streets in the dark and hear the slush of the mud under your feet, and when you know that you will wake up next morning with nothing to look forward to but vodka and cards. Oh, how awful it is!
And Anna Pavlovna could scarcely walk. . . . She was still under the influence of the dancing, the music, the talk, the lights, and the noise; she asked herself as she walked along why God had thus afflicted her. She felt miserable, insulted, and choking with hate as she listened to her husband’s heavy footsteps. She was silent, trying to think of the most offensive, biting, and venomous word she could hurl at her husband, and at the same time she was fully aware that no word could penetrate her tax-collector’s hide. What did he care for words? Her bitterest enemy could not have contrived for her a more helpless position.
And meanwhile the band was playing and the darkness was full of the most rousing, intoxicating dance-tunes.