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Lahiri/Hemingway: Compare and Contrast the stories "Hills Like White Elephants" and "A Temporary Matter".

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Paper Length: This assignment needs to be somewhere around 650-750 words- the equivalent of at least 2 -3 pages. 

Point Value: This assignment will be worth 50 pts. 

This assignment asks you to compare / contrast the stories "Hills Like White Elephants" and "A Temporary Matter".

Remember to use quotes and other textual evidence from the story to support your position. 

Please submit the assignment as either text entry or as a PDF, DOC, or DOCX (Word) format. 


Answer these two questions based on what you believe each author is saying about the nature of relationships.

  1. What do you believe the author is saying about love and the challenges couples face, based on how each story ends?
  2. Do you believe the couple in each relationship will love each other more, or less, or remain the same- based on what has happened?
  3. Checklist:
    • Are you using quotes from the story to support your answers?
    • Have you made sure to explain any behavior of the characters in the story within their own time? The two stories take place about 80 years apart, so remember to judge each story based on the unique era it was written. 
    • Are you making sure that your paragraphs are not more than 8 sentences?
    • Have you responded to at least 2 students?


Lahiri/Hemingway: Compare and Contrast the stories "Hills Like White Elephants" and "A Temporary Matter".

“Hills Like White Elephants" is a conversation between a man and his girlfriend, but not of either party seem to communicate with one another, and this shows there is a rift between them.  It is important to consider that there is communication and talking; they are all talking but away from communicating.  To what seems like abortion, given the disguise in operation, the man tries to convince the girlfriend to have the abortion.  There is absolutely no real love between them; it is evident in the manner they approach issues as private entities and not intertwined.  The short story shows that the leading challenge that couples have is the lack of communication and the same perspective.  In "A Temporary Matter", the couples have a common understanding, and they have loved each other since they got married; they have the same perspective of life and have anticipation that they will have a newborn baby.  The couple goes with grief and guilt and has that challenges that make their lives not go on well.  Shukumar feels the guilt of not being present during the birth of the baby.  In the story of A Temporary Matter, there is the theme of communication prevalent also in the Hills Like White Elephants.  Difficult communication is also evident.  At the beginning of the story, Shoa and Shukumar have brief and objective communication, but when problems set in, they are not able to communicate with one another.  The case of the American boy and his girlfriend have the same challenge of communication; talking without communicating.

The use of symbolism in the story “the Hills like white elephants” is seen in the likening of hills with white elephants.  The symbol of a white elephant symbolizes a thing that no one wants; this would suggest that the couples...


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