Writing styles changed drastically from the nineteenth to twentieth centuries. The nineteenth century had authorial intervention and authors wrote about things they had never experienced, where as the twentieth century had a lot of hidden symbols and images and writings were more generally based on events in which the authors had been a part of. Many people thought these “hard to understand writings would be a temporary phase of literature, but authors such as Ernest Hemingway wrote in such a branding way that this writing style has been a constant example of a powerful literary expression.
Hemingway was one of the best users of symbols and images. In the story Hills Like White Elephants, he has hidden symbols behind almost everything in the story. The main symbol in this story is the abortion. This is known in the story as the “simple operation.” The whole story is about this couple that is considering an abortion. Each little part of the abortion is another symbol. The “white elephants” showed something they didn’t want, in this case the baby. Even the smallest things, like the alcohol, symbolized old ways (beer) and something new (Anes del Toro) in the two peoples relationship.
This story also gives you images of the happenings going on in the story. “The station between two lines of rails” gave you the image of a choice of which track or option in life they were going to take. Were they going to go the one direction and get the abortion (as planned) or were they going to choose the other track, keep the baby and go home. Hemingway also uses images to tell you the choice they make. When it says “he picked up the two heavy bags and carried them around the station to the other tracks” it is telling you that they changed their minds, chose the different path, and decided not to get the abortion. There are also some not so hidden images. When he describes the scenery Hemingway is just trying to give you an idea of the type of environment they are in.
These other symbols and images, though, were hidden emotional feelings or contained no authorial intervention. A usual nineteenth century piece would tell you what to think by coming right out and saying it. Nineteenth, instead of saying “I feel fine, There’s nothing wrong with me I feel fine,” where her true feelings are hidden inside, would say something along the lines of “I hope we made the right decision, for I don’t want this to hurt our relationship in any way.” This is telling you exactly how she is feeling and why she is concerned.
Hemingway’s writings also had the modern characteristic of drawing heavily in the own experience for the plots, settings, and characters in his works. This made his writings more realistic than nineteenth century because when writers write about things they haven’t experienced it’s not as realistic and therefore doesn’t appeal to your emotional side nearly as much. Hemingway had a past of pregnancy problems. His first true love, a British nurse, died while giving child birth, and his first born child made him feel as if he was having a threatened end to the youthful freedom they had enjoyed in Paris. So it’s no wander that Hemingway wrote about a couple getting an abortion in his story Hills Like White Elephants. His early experiences with having children wasn’t exactly a pleasant one. This story’s characters weren’t from his own experiences, like most of his stories were, but the setting being at the Ebro was considering Hemingway had visited Spain three times in his life. This modern characteristic of Hemingway really strengthened his writings to appeal to the reader more emotionally.
Hemingway really made his mark in the twentieth century by setting a great example on how to write using the new modern characteristics. And it was because of writers like Hemingway this new writing style has stuck around. If he hadn’t of ended his life in such a sudden way as suicide I’m sure he would of wrote many more great stories showing how the use of symbols and images can really strengthen a piece of literature. Hemingway’s use of modern rules was in a world above many other great writers.