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The Killers

The Killers

by Ernest Hemingway

Passivity Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

"Listen," George said to Nick. "You better go see Ole Andreson."

"All right."

"You better not have anything to do with it at all," Sam, the cook, said. "You better stay way out of it." (154-6)

Sam’s passive attitude contrasts with Nick’s active approach to this problem; passivity seems to correlate to experience. Those who are more jaded (like Sam) are able to sit idly by, while those who are more innocent (like Nick) feel the need to act – probably because the latter feels he can change things, and the former knows he can’t.

Quote #5

"I’ll go see him," Nick said to George. "Where does he live?"

The cook turned away. (160)

Sam’s turning away parallels Ole’s turning to the wall – a significant action in The Killers.

Quote #6

Ole Andreson said nothing.

"They put us out in the kitchen," Nick went on. "They were going to shoot you when you came in to supper."

Ole Andreson looked at the wall and did not say anything. (176-8)

Look at the repetition of language regarding Ole’s passivity. We are told twice that he says nothing and twice that he looked at the wall.

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