1. I believe “the American and the girl with him” were talking about having an abortion, and how it would change their relationship if they were to have a baby. He was saying that it is the only thing “bothering” them and making them “unhappy.” The girl appears undecided, and scared of losing the man.
2. Nothing really happens, except a rehashing of their relationship, which seems to consist of looking “at things and try[ing] new drinks.”
3. Their relationship is not about communication, but about the girl following everything the man says because she doesn’t care about herself. She just wants him to love her. He tries to manipulate the girl to agree to the abortion, saying that things between them will not have to change, and that “things will be like they were,” when she felt he loved her. He keeps speaking about “letting the air in,” which makes me think that he wants there to be “air” in the relationship, and that the non-operation would make him—not them happy again.
He feels stifled, and this pressure is reflected in the hot day. The relationship is “airy” and superficial, without direct communication, because the man does not truly care about her and is concerned only with his interests, and the girl doesn’t care about herself, so she decides to want to do what he thinks is best.
4. The conflict of the story is resolved when the girl decides to have the abortion. The climax is when Hemmingway uses the adjective “reasonably,” when describing the people waiting for the train. It is a commentary that the man was thinking “reasonably,” but not from love, even though he says he is. He made his decision out of reason, and she out of emotion.
5. The hills are described as very fertile and the opposite landscape as very barren, and it seems to represent the barrenness of their relationship, as well as the discussion about abortion.
6. I would like to know why the girl said, “’I’ll scream.’”
Courtney from Study Moose
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