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The Killers

The Killers

by Ernest Hemingway

Passivity Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"Just a bright boy," Max said. He leaned forward and took the ham and eggs. Both men ate with their gloves on. George watched them eat. (46)

Max takes the wrong meal – why? Is he too passive to bother correcting the error? Does he not notice?

Quote #2

"All right," George said. "What you going to do with us afterward?"

"That’ll depend," Max said. "That’s one of those things you never know at the time." (114-5)

Both men are being passive here, George in deference to the demands of the killers, and Max in deference to circumstance.

Quote #3

"Come on, Al," Max said.

"What about the two bright boys and the nigger?"

"They’re all right." (135)

The killers seem surprisingly inactive about the task at hand. They’re not alarmed that Ole didn’t show up, and they’re not concerned about leaving three witnesses who are free to run to the police or to Ole.

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