The Killers

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Stephen Bunn
ENG - 223
3-4-13
Essay 4
The Killers
Hemingway’s “The Killers” tells the story of a diner in Summit, Illinois, that hosts two rude overdressed men. The three employees of this diner are Nick, George, and Sam. Nick, a frequent character employed in Hemingway’s stories, watches as two strange men walk into the diner and sit down to order. After complaining for a while about the menu, these men eat their meal all whilst making rude remarks and racial slurs to George and Nick. Following their meal, these men proceed to tie up Nick and Sam, the cook, in the back of the diner. They continue by asking where a man by the name of Ole Anderson is. George responds by saying that Ole Anderson comes in regularly to eat. After revealing their intentions to kill Ole Anderson, the two men wait for their victim to show up. Once seven o’clock rolls around, the two assassins give up and leave the diner. Nick, feeling that he is obligated to warn Ole Anderson about the incident, heads over to Ole Anderson’s residence. Surprisingly we find Ole Anderson lying fully clothed on his bed. Having no response to Nick’s tale, Ole Anderson faces the wall and states that he has no desire to continue running from imminent death. Nick, shocked by his answer, returns to the diner stating that he is leaving Summit. He explains himself by stating that he can’t stand the thought of a man waiting passively for his death.

Throughout his story “The Killers,” Hemingway presents a strong psychological theory. The character and the most likely protagonist, Nick, possesses a spirit of innocence. His innocence is lost because of experiencing evil for the first time. The proof of this loss is that his expectation of life is different at the end of the story compared to the beginning. The two killers, Al and Max, are hired hitmen who are directed to kill ex-prize fighter Ole Anderson. Also, these characters have a sense of humor displayed in their interactions between each other at the...
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