How is "Fifty Grand" similar to Hemingway's "The Killers"?Please explain similarities in characters, plot, theme, setting, etc.

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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In both "Fifty Grand" and "The Killers" Hemingway is writing about uneducated, lower-class men who have no particular skills and exist in the demi-monde. Their interests are similar. They like sports and turn first to the sports section of the newspaper. As a reporter, Hemingway was familiar with this world and found it interesting, as did other writers of his day like Ring Lardner and Damon Runyon. Boxing figures in both stories. Ole Andreson in "The Killers" is a former boxer and he is on the lam from characters like the two crooked gamblers in "Fifty Grand." In both stories the themes involve corruption, dishonesty, double-dealing. Ole must have been involved in some kind of fixed fight not too different from the one between Brennan and Walcott. Ole was probably supposed to win and lost, or supposed to lose and won. Both Brennan and Andreson are at the end of their boxing careers. Brennan will likely never box again, and Andreson can't box because he is in hiding. Boxing was a more popular sport in the 1920's because it was the only spectator sport that could be watched at night. It would be a long time before baseball and football fields could be effectively lighted with electricity. Boxing was very popular for gambling, and it was notoriously crooked. Both stories involve amoral men who are almost exclusively interested in money.

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Fifty Grand

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