The main theme of "Hills Like White Elephants," written by Ernest Hemingway, is the difference between talking and communicating. The two main characters do not listen or take the time to understand each other.
The operation talked about in this story is widely believed to be an abortion. The man in the story wants his girlfriend to have the operation, and his girlfriend is against the procedure. The two dance around the subject without taking into consideration the feelings and reasons of the other person. Throughout the entire story, the couple talks to each other, but neither person communicates emotions or reasons effectively.