Jig

Jig is the female character in Ernest Hemingway's story “Hills Like White Elephants”, a “girl”, as the narrator repetitively mentions. Her outer characterisation is vague. It is unclear whether she is an American like her partner, but since she only speaks English, we can assume she is from an English-speaking country. Since is often called ‘the girl’, the story suggests that she might be quite young and inexperienced.

Jig’s inner characterisation is constructed through direct speech, her actions and attitude. The way she talks and asks permission to drink from the man shows that she is inexperienced and quite dependent on her lover.

The girl looked at the bead curtain. ‘They’ve painted something on it,’ she said. ‘What does it say?’

‘Anis del Toro. It’s a drink.’       
‘Could we try it?’ (p. 475, ll. 24-27)

This is later confirmed when, Jig admits that she only cares about the man she is with, and this is why she will have the abortion - for his sake:

‘Then I’ll do it. Because I don’t care about me.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘I don’t care about me’
‘Well, I care about you.’
‘Oh, yes. But...

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