After you have read “Hills Like White Elephants” and the “Critical Approaches” chapter from your textbook, select a lens that you think most illuminates what you see to be the central issues in the story. In other words, do you think that Hemingway does something particularly interesting with a literary element within the story? You might write from one of the lenses that places an emphasis on the text. Or, if you want to learn more about Hemingway and what might have driven him to create this text, you might focus on the story through one of the lenses that emphasizes the source. Or, if you are more interested in the reader-response or the historical or ideological forces at work in the text, you might choose one of the lenses that focuses on the receiver.
Once you’ve selected the lens that most interests you or that seems most appropriate to what takes place in this short story, examine the story more carefully through your selected critical lens. Then, you will plan and draft a literary analysis essay in which you explain how “Hills Like White Elephants” can be understood when it is read through your lens. What details stand out as a result of looking through your lens? How does the story become richer and more nuanced as a result of looking through your lens? What kinds of issues shape how we might read the story through your lens? It’s your job to create an essay that helps those of us who are not familiar with your lens understand how it applies to literature by reading “Hills Like White Elephants” through that critical perspective.
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