The Killers Essay

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Semansky is an instructor of English literature and composition who writes about literature and culture for various publications. In this essay, Semansky considers the idea of waiting in Hemingway's story.

Rife with images of waiting, "The Killers" embodies a range of Hemingway's ideas on the human condition, from his notion of "nada" to his code of manly behavior. By foregrounding waiting, Hemingway creates suspense, develops characters, and suggests themes that lesser writers might take twice as many pages to accomplish.

Inextricably bound up with notions of time and human behavior, the act of waiting creates expectation and suspense, while providing a framework for the story's events. The first image of waiting occurs when George tells Al and Max that the dinner they want will not be available until six o'clock. But there's confusion about the time. Although the clock reads 5:20, George tells the men it is twenty minutes...

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This section contains 1,247 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Killers Study Guide
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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.