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The Killers

The Killers

by Ernest Hemingway

The Killers Analysis

Literary Devices in The Killers

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

At the start of the story, George tells the killers that dinner won’t be available until six. He then looks at the clock and declares that it’s five. Max makes a point of saying, actual...

Setting

Before talking about "The Killers," it’s a good idea to think about what was going on at the time Hemingway wrote it. We’re looking at the mid-west in 1927, which means two big things:...

Narrator Point of View

The narrator in "The Killers" doesn’t tell us anything we couldn’t get from being a fly on the wall. We don’t know what people are thinking unless they say it. We definitely don&#...

Genre

If you’ve read Nick Adams’s character analysis, you’ve heard plenty by now about the interpretation of "The Killers" as a loss-of-innocence gig that focuses on Nick encountering e...

Tone

"The Killers" is presented to us rather nakedly. Here’s what happens, judge for yourself. The author’s attitude towards the work, then, is basically neutral. If the reader feels sympath...

Writing Style

As you’ve probably heard by now, Hemingway is famous for his tight, short prose. But "The Killers" in particular is composed of language charged with meaning to the utmost degree. Every word...

What’s Up With the Title?

Since "The Killers" tells the story of two would-be hitmen, we’re not entirely surprised by the title. It’s worth taking a closer look, however, when we realize one key fact: the killer...

Plot Analysis

Two guys walk into a bar…OK, so it’s not a bar so much as a lunchroom, but you get the point. Because of the title of the story, there’s a fair bit of conflict implied (we sense t...

Three Act Plot Analysis

The scene with the killers in the lunchroom.The scene between Ole and Nick in the boarding house.The scene back in the lunchroom with Sam, George, and Nick.

Trivia

All right, we tried desperately to confirm that the The Killers (the band) took their name from Hemingway but…we couldn’t. So until one of you gets us Brandon Flowers’s phone numb...

Steaminess Rating

Not even a little bit. This is a world of manly men talking about their manly stuff or the lack there of. No room for women, no room for sex.

Allusions

Andre Anderson (Ole Andreson’s character): Andre Anderson was an American heavyweight boxer in the decade leading up to Hemingway’s "The Killers." He was killed in 1926 by Chicago mobst...
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