At the conclusion of “Hills Like White Elephants”, I considered what operation the couple could possibly be arguing about. Even though Hemingway intentionally does not include any concrete details to guide the reader to any hard conclusions, one can make conjectures from the characters’ emotional responses in their dialogue. When the American man says, “I don’t want anybody but you. I don’t want anyone else” (214), my only hypothesis was that he wanted her to undergo a birth control procedure. However, when the man says, “They just let the air in and then it’s all perfectly natural” (212), my confidence in my conclusion becomes clouded. “The Sea Change” also employed the same style of creating confusion that makes Hemingway’s stories very open to interpretation. I read The Sun Also Rises in high school and I always thought that people enjoyed his just writing because it came in a concise and simple package. Only after going through these short stories have I realized that people enjoy Hemingway because his style leaves the plot to be discovered by the reader.
Now, I am very intrigued to find what we will discover through our digital humanities style of reading. Hemingway’s form of story telling is immune to the skimming reading style. One cannot just flip through the pages of his stories and come away with an understanding of the plot – let alone the themes – of his pieces. Reflecting on what I read, I compared his writing style to something I learned in a rhetoric writing class this semester called an enthymeme. An enthymeme is defined as an argument in which one premise is not explicitly stated. An example of an enthymeme is a bumper sticker. When a person reads a bumper sticker, he makes his own connections and reaches his own conclusion. That is how I see Hemingway’s writing and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I look forward to using our analytic software on the short stories to see if a computer can somehow make the same connections and conclusions that a human mind does when reading Hemingway.