Modernist literature reacted against what its proponents believed was the overly descriptive, embellished, and decorative literature of the Victorian era. One attribute of modernism, of which Hemingway is a chief example, is stark, stripped down language. If Victorian era authors reveled in loads of lavish detail, Hemingway, a journalist, cut a story down to its bare minimum. The dialogue often doesn't even include a he said/she said, relying instead on the reader to determine who is talking. This passage from the story is typical of unvarnished modernist minimalism, akin to modernist architecture's desire to remove all superfluous detail.
"Maybe the truck will come."
"I don't give a damn about the truck."
"You give a damn about so many things that I don't."
"Not so many, Harry."
"What about a drink?"
"It's supposed to be bad for you. It said in Black's to avoid all alcohol.
You shouldn't drink."
As others have noted, alienation is a theme of modernism, especially after World War I left...
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