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Compression Between “hills like White Elephant” and Japanese Quince”

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Point of view, character symbol/irony and theme are the three main writing styles that differentiate “The Japanese Quince” from “Hills like White Elephants”. Though they may be the two shortest stories in Perrine’s literature, the quality of these literatures does no lack superiority. John Galsworthy and Ernest Hemingway are both extraordinary writers and their writhing style are highly commendable. John Galsworthy’s use of character is extremely unique. “The Japanese Quince” is written in indirect presentation; Galsworthy never really shows us the character in action. We, the readers, must infer what the characters are like from what the characters think, say and do. In this short story, all the protagonist does is step outside, walk up to a tree and then walk back home. There is not that much action or a straightforward explanation of the character. The reader must decipher clues in the story in order to understand the characters. Without the many details of the setting and the environment around Mr. Nilson, it would remain unknown to the reader whether Mr. Nilson was a round character or a static character. These small details are the only manner to determine Mr. Nelson’s life behind his solitary walk around the gardens.

‘He stood staring curiously at this tree, recognizing it for that which he noticed from his window. It was covered with young blossoms, pink and white, and little bright green leaves the sunlight glistened. Mr. Nilson smiled; the little tree was so alive and pretty! And instead of passing on, he stayed there smiling at the tree. “Morning like this!” he thought; “and hear I am the only person in the square who has the --- to come out and---!’(Page 74, paragraph 8).

This was the closest the character of Mr. Nilson became, to becoming a developing character. He was so close to experiencing nature, filling that hole in his heart, changing, and understanding what that pain within him represented. Why did he stop? He saw his mirror image, right next to him experiencing the same sensations. Now, instead of understanding and changing his problem of lack of connection to nature and social life he accepts it and never finishing his sentence. It was more then just one sentence, it was his whole life. ‘Unaccountably upset, Mr. Nilson turned abruptly into the house, and opened his morning paper’ (page 75, paragraph 26). He lost his only chance of ever changing his life, causing him to become permanently a static character.

Because “Hills Like White Elephants” is told in direct presentation, the characteristic of the protagonist varies in many ways and fits into many different categories. Because of manipulation the characteristic of the girl is finally defined. The story is told by someone other then the main character and the analysis of the character is a lot more forthright and simple, emphasizing dramatized characters, which is when the characters are speaking and acting as if in a drama, and this is what the whole story is, one play with dialogues. The protagonist, the girl, is a round character. She has many sides behind what the story presents, unlike the boy who can be easily defined in a sentence or two. One side of the girl understands the issue of abortion and sees it as a big issue that keep on growing, but, then the other side of her neglects the issue like the boy, as to not interfere with her relationship. Because of this internal conflict, she becomes a static character. “I feel fine,” she said. “There’s nothing wrong with me. I feel fine” (page 173, line110). Influenced by the boy, she doesn’t confront her problems. Instead she bottles up the huge issue inside and plays it off as nothing is wrong, causing her to become a non-developing character. Character is the only aspect of literature in which these stories are similar. In both ‘Hills Like White Elephant’ and ‘Japanese Quince’, the protagonists are static and round characters. Mr. Nilson and the girl walk away from their problems. Both characters try to change and are on the right path, however the antagonist is never far behind. No mater if it is Mr. Tandram from ‘Japanese Quince’ or the boy in Hills Like White Elephant. The antagonist comes from behind and pulls the antagonist down to their knees. This is why Mr. Nilson never finished his sentence. This why the girl’s last line was, “I feel fine” (page, line 110). This is why they are static characters. 

“The Japanese Quince” is written in limited omniscient. The story is told in the third person and in the view point of Mr. Nilson. Galsworthy goes into the mind, body and thoughts of Mr. Nilson and never leaves his side. The author describes what Mr. Nilson sees, feels and thinks. However, he only plays God for only this one particular character. We are never given the opportunity to delve into Mr. Tandram’s thoughts. The reason

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