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Hills Like White Elephants

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Presentation on theme: "Hills Like White Elephants"— Presentation transcript:

1 Hills Like White Elephants
A Lecture Outline of Hills Like White Elephants By Ernest Hemingway

2 Objectives: after 6-7 class hours, students are expected to
Demonstrate a better understanding and appreciation of H's strategy :short words, lively dialogues and simple syntax, especially the "iceberg principle." Sharpen their skills of analysis and synthesis so as to explore the rich interpretations of the author‘s ideas.

3 Methods: Lecture Class Discussion Screening Exercises
Staging the story

4 Procedure: 3-Session lecture
Session 1: general coverage Session 2: staging the story and discussion Session 3: further exploration and exercises

5 Session 1: General Coverage

6 Warming up: Activity I Group Discussion
Divide the students into groups to discuss what they know about Hemingway's life and work.

7 Hemingway's Life and Work

8 Hemingway at the time of his graduation from high school, 1917

9 Young Hemingway's account of a high school football game
Hemingway received a "D" in this writing exercise for one of his English classes at Oak Park High School. As the teacher's comment indicates, however, it was not content but penmanship that earned him the low grade.

10 Hemingway in his World War I ambulance driver's uniform

11 Hemingway's first love, Agnes von Kurowsky
Hemingway never forgot his romance with an American nurse , and Kurowsky later became a primary model for the heroine in his novel of World War I, A Farewell to Arms

12 Literary Relationships
Gertrude Stein Ezra Pound F. Scott Fitzgerald

13 Gertrude Stein Gertrude Stein was an experimental modernist writer.Hemingway respected her professional expertise, and readily accepted her as a mentor. From her he learned much about the rhythm of words and the power of repetition and unembellished direct statement. The term Lost Generation was coined by Gertrude Stein to refer to a group of American literary notables who lived in Paris.


15 Ezra Pound Ezra Pound was a poet by profession, but he was a generous adviser by instinct, and many a writer, among them T. S. Eliot and James Joyce, benefited from his artistic counsel, encouragement, and editing. From Pound, Hemingway learned "to distrust adjectives" and received valuable guidance in how to compress his words into precise images.

16 Many years later, Hemingway called Pound "a sort of saint" and said he was "the man I liked and trusted the most as critic."

17 F. Scott Fitzgerald Despite Hemingway's relative obscurity, Fitzgerald had sent a favorable letter to his editor in which he wrote: "This is to tell you about a young man named Ernest Hemmingway, who lives in Paris…I'd look him up right away. He's the real thing.”


19 Hemingway trying his hand at bullfighting in Pamplona, Spain
Here, he can be seen (right of center, in white pants and dark sweater) confronting a charging bull.

20 Hemingway showing off his marlin catch with his friend, American bullfighter Sidney Franklin (in beret)


22 "for his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in The Old Man and the Sea, and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style"


24 Hemingway’s Nobel Prize Acceptance speech

25 Quotes on his own style “I always try to write on the principle of the iceberg. There is seven-eights of it under water for every part that shows. Anything you know you can can eliminate and it only strengthens your iceberg. It is the part that doesn’t show.”

26 “There is seven-eights of it (iceberg)under water for every part that shows…The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water."

27 “I sometimes think that my style is suggestive rather than direct
“I sometimes think that my style is suggestive rather than direct. The reader must often use his imagination or lose the most subtle part of my thoughts” “If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water."

28 Activity II Pair Work Ask the students to ask each other this question:" Why Do You Read Fiction?"

29 “Why do we read fiction. The answer is simple
“Why do we read fiction? The answer is simple. We read it because we like it. And we like it because fiction, as an image of life, stimulates and gratifies our interest in life. …the special and immediate interest that takes us to fiction is always our interest in a story.”

30 “A story is… an image of life in motion--specifically, the presentation of individual characters moving through their particular experiences to some end…And the experience that is characteristically presented in a story is that of facing a problem, a conflict.” -Robert Penn Warren

31 Study Questions for comprehension and consideration
1. What is a “white elephant ” according to the dictionary definition? What does a “white elephant” symbolize in the story? 2.list the evidence that tells what kind of operation Jig is confronting. How risky is it physically and emotionally? 

32 3. Hemingway once suggested that his purpose in such a story is to tell the reader as little as possible directly. How does this principle operate in this story? 4.“Subject, setting, point of view, characterization, dialog, irony, compression and the symbolism implicit in the title and developed in the story all contribute to the powerful impact.”Agree with any part of this statement in detail, quoting relevant phrases from the story.

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