The Killers Questions and Answers
by Ernest Hemingway

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Explain how the story "The Killers" represents modernism in style and structure.

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Certainly, in Ernest Hemingway's "The Killers" there is a sense of disharmony, violence, and ambivalence. For, the two men who come to kill Ole Andreson are parodies of the stereotypical gangsters and talk in a nonsensical manner that is in sharp contrast to their deadly intentions; after encountering these gratuitously violent caractures of men, Nick, the sometimes narrator and character in the story, becomes uncertain about life's values. Indeed, there are elements of Modernism in Hemingway's story:

  • Themes of Meaningless and Alienation, Violence, and Disillusionment

The two hit men come to town to kill Ole Andreson simply as "a favor to a friend."  "Dressed like twins" in stereotypical mob attire, the two men prattle and are gratuitously cruel to George, Nick, and Al.  When...

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