Good People vs Hills Like White Elephants

“Good People” by David Foster and “Hills like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway are fantastic stories that have utilized different literary elements in communicating to their readers. The introduction of the stories, portrayal strategies, the character arrangement and the plot has changed broadly. However, the stories show the abundance of abilities by the two diverse authors through similar likenesses in presentation. The characters in these two stories are distinctive in their decision making, development of conclusion and the progress of the story overall despite the fact that they share common decisions and common thinking about these unwanted pregnancies. When looking into stories to compare and contrast of similar writings it is critical to get on the subtle literary ways an author is able to convey their thoughts.

“Hills like White Elephants” presents a Spanish story of American and his girlfriend. The couple is expecting a child where American prefers an abortion and his girlfriend Jig isn’t so sure on what to do. “Good People” also presents a story of an American catholic couple Lane and Sheri who are also expecting a child in which Lane prefers an abortion and Sheri isn’t sure about this decision. In “Good People” author Wallace wrote, “He knew, in some locked-up little part of him, why it was that he’d gone to no one to open up and seek their life counsel. But he did not know why Sheri herself had not gone to Pastor Steve-he could not read her heart. She was blank and hidden.” This quote says that, “he’d gone to no one to open up and seek their life counsel” which means he did not know what to do but when he said, “he did not know why Sheri herself hadn’t gone to pastor Steve” he wanted Sheri to be sure about what she wanted to do without worrying about him. He wanted to see what Sheri thought about all this but he couldn’t read her mind or tell what she was thinking, her thoughts according to him were basically hidden. Similar to this Hemingway writes, “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.” American said. These words basically speak for itself where American is putting out what he wants Jig to do but also telling her to do whatever she wants.

Wallace also writes, “The appointment could get moved back; if she just said the word, they could call and push it back to take more time to be sure in the decision. This was true, that he felt this way, and yet he also knew he was also trying to say things that would get her to open up and say enough back that he could see her and read her heart and know what to say to get her to go through with it.” Lane basically wanted to discuss this with Sheri so that he could know what she was going on in her mind and then he could say how he felt about this pregnancy and abortion so that they could possibly come up with a decision. Jig asked American, “what will we do afterward the operation?” Jig isn’t even putting out what she thinks she should do but she is asking all these question to be get that assurance from American so she can agree with him. Both American and Lane are leaning towards abortion and clearly Jig and Sheri are confused as to what to do and what not to do.

In contrast, “Good People” Lane is okay with whatever Sheri’s decision is and Sheri is pretty independent herself on that. Whereas in “Hills like White Elephants” American pushes the Jig to have an abortion and she undoubtedly agrees with him because she is depended on him. “What if he was just afraid, if the truth was no more than this, and if what to pray for was not even love but simple courage, to meet both her eyes as she says it and trust his heart?” Here, Lane is basically doubting his decision and giving himself the benefit of doubt, he thinks of what Sheri might think of this in a different way. This showed how open Lane is to Sheri’s decision and how he does not want to pressure Sheri to do anything she doesn’t want to. On the other hand, American said to Jig, “It’s really an awfully simple operation, It’s not really an operation at all. Well if you don’t want to do it, you don’t have to but I know it’s perfectly simple.” American is trying his hardest to convince Jig to have this operation; he also uses a word like “simple” to describe this procedure so that Jig doesn’t think too deep into it and agrees to go with the operation. Both American and Lane are different her in terms of how they want their girlfriends’ to make the decision, American is basically pushing Jig for the operation and Lane is open to what Sheri thinks and what her decision is.

Jig and Sheri are two completely different people if you talk see what their goals in life are described in the story. Sheri is leaned more towards school and nursing whereas Jig’s life goals aren’t described at all. In “Good People” author Wallace wrote, “She knew what she wanted, which was nursing and not an easy program at Junior College, and plus she worked hostessing at the Embers and had bought her own car.” Sheri is in college that too for Nursing which isn’t an easy major on top of that she works part time. This shows us how independent Sheri is and how serious she is about her future. Contrasting to this we see in “Hills like White Elephants” author wrote, “Do you want it with water?” American asked. “I don’t know, is it good with water?” Jig asked.” Jig asking American for what order, what tastes good with what drink and she constantly asks what he thinks about the drinks instead of expressing her own opinion. Both these girls are different from each other and these differences are the reason why they make decisions differently as well, one listens everything American said and one wants to see all the possibilities before making a decision.

In conclusion, the articles “Good People” by David Wallace and “Hills like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway both discuss the unwanted pregnancies and what to do to deal with them; however, Wallace’s characters are understanding of each other and are willing to give each other the time and space they need to make the decision, whereas Hemingway’s male character is stuck to his own decision wants the female character to agree with him as well. In both stories it is shown that the male characters are leaning mostly towards an abortion and the female characters are confused about the decision, the stories are taking us through the process of what is going on in the two couples’ mind and how they are trying to come up with a decision.