Artistic Unity of both works.
“Miss Brill’s” and “Hills Like White Elephants”
The glossary defines artistic unity as, “a condition of a successful literary work whereby all its elements work together for the achievement of its central purpose”(page 1658). This certainly applies to these works and helps make them coherent. “Miss Brill’s” origin is French, and “Hills Like White Elephants” is originally Spanish. They both are presented to us in English, an accepted rule of presentation. For example, Miss Brill is referred to as a“mug”, which is an English expression, that is presented in French.
In Katherine Mansfield’s “Miss Brill”, the meaning of “Brill”, is a European fish. The title contains our first encounter with artistic unity. Miss Brill’s “Fur”, is a motif that is specifically placed in the first sentence, middle, and last sentence. She has a colorful imagination and frequently assigns people animalistic characteristics. For example, the conductor, “flapping his arms like a rooster about to crow”, the mother “like a young hen, rushed scolding to its rescue”, and the woman’s hand who was wearing the ermine toque, “lifted to dab her lips, was a tiny yellowish paw”. “Smoke colored donkeys”, is also used to describe the two peasant woman and her fur is compared to a fried fish. Needless to say animality is unified throughout “Miss Brill”
In Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants”, a white elephant is a possession that is useless, difficult to uphold, or get rid of. It artisticly unifies to the meaning of the story; furthermore,
nothing is omitted that would make the work more effective at conveying the message. The author purposely illustrates the female as the “girl” and the male as the “man” to express to the audience that it should be reversed. Illustrated in the beginning of the story, “the station was between two lines of rails in the sun”, has a meaning that becomes clear at the end of the story. The two rails typify one of the two choices that must be made. The author artistically unifies the characters surroundings with the underlying message. “The country was brown and dry” and “Across on the other side, were fields of grain and trees along the banks of the Ebro” merge with the underlying message of infertility and fertility respectively. Hemingway was the first author to predominantly use dialogue in his works. He also artisticly unified one word with two opposing meanings, for both the girl and man. “Once they take it away, you never get it back” and “but they haven’t taken it away”, signify the block in communication both characters are having. “It” signifies two vastly different spectrum’s.
Uniquely both works artistically unify each other in some aspects. Miss Brill, is an American who lives in France. Mansfield doesn’t allow the audience to know her first name, so she can seem more isolated. Miss Brill copes with loneliness by creating a fantasy world. Similarly, the girl in “Hills Like White Elephants”, demonstrates isolation because she can’t communicate in Spanish. Consequently, she must rely on the “man”, or else she’d be alone in a country where she can’t communicate. Ultimately, “In an artistically unified work nothing is included that is irrelevant to the central purpose, nothing is omitted that is essential to it, and the parts are arranged in the most effective order for the achievement of that purpose” (page 1658).
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