Introduction & Overview of The Killers

This Study Guide consists of approximately 45 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Killers.
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The Killers Summary & Study Guide Description

The Killers Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading on The Killers by Ernest Hemingway.

"The Killers," Ernest Hemingway's story about two hit men who come to a small town to kill a former prizefighter, was first published in the March 1927 issue of Scribner's Magazine. Hemingway was paid two hundred dollars for the story, which was the first of his mature stories to appear in an American periodical. His original title for the story was "The Matadors." Hemingway included the story in his 1927 collection Men Without Women, and it also appears in The Nick Adams Stories (1972). "The Killers" remains one of Hemingway's most anthologized stories because it is representative of Hemingway's style and the subjects that would occupy his work throughout his career. These subjects include the meaninglessness of human life, male camaraderie, and the inevitability of death, and Hemingway explores them using his signature short sentences, slang, and understatement.

Hemingway claims to have written the story in a frenzy of inspiration on May 16, 1926, before lunch. Like many of his short stories, "The Killers" features Nick Adams, a typical Hemingway hero, one in a long line of Hemingway's fictional selves. Hemingway introduced Nick Adams in his first collection of stories, In Our Time (1925). Nick is an adolescent in "The Killers," and critics have argued that Nick's experience with the hit men marks his initiation into adulthood and his introduction to evil and violence.

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This section contains 219 words
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Short Stories for Students
The Killers from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.