Initial discussion boards | ENG242 short story interpretation

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Discussion board #1:


In the Foster readings this week, he spends a great deal of time talking about sex, sexual symbols, and what sex symbolizes. In “Hills Like White Elephants,” we have the aftermath of a sexual act: an unwanted pregnancy. The abortion has not yet taken place. We have no guarantees that it will, despite any agreements struck during the conversation we’ve been permitted to overhear. In this discussion, we will consider the relationship of the characters and their plan. 

Initial Post Instructions

Using examples from the story, analyze to what extent does this discussion and the characters’ individual reactions to their current predicament symbolize their entire relationship. What conclusions does Hemingway lead us to draw about their personalities? Is this couple going to stay together? Will the man only stay with Jig if she has the abortion? If that’s the case, are they in love? 

Discussion Board #2:


Though we hear a bit about the relationships of the four main characters in Carver’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” for the most part, we are presented with a dinner party where the gin has been flowing and the storytelling has begun. Given the topic of the week and the topic at Carver’s dinner table, how does Carver use the stories his characters tell to demonstrate to us what they actually think about love? 

Initial Post Instructions

Select at least one of the characters and the story he or she has selected to tell. Does the story contain their philosophy of love? Does it divulge the storytelling character’s personality? 

Consider the characters at the table who are listening to these tales. Does your opinion of Mel and your assumption of his “philosophy of love” change due to the stories he is subjected to this drunken night?

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