The Snows of Kilimanjaro Questions and Answers
by Ernest Hemingway

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How have Modernist ideas been communicated in Ernest Hemingway's "The Snows of Kilimanjaro"? What techniques are used?

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Ernest Hemingway became famous in part for his introduction of a clean, terse writing style, approximate to a journalist's approach of letting the "facts speak for themselves," and "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" is a case in point. The story is modernist in terms of both form and content. The narrative employs innovative techniques that draw in the reader, making him or her work to realize the meaning of the piece, even as the protagonist is pondering the meaning of his (waning) life. Further, "Kilimanjaro" depicts themes - sex, class hostility, alcoholism, graphic recounts of war - that at this point in literary history (1936) were rarely dealt with as directly. And he does so in economical yet devastating prose.

Modernist technique opens the story; it begins abruptly with dialogue rather than any attempt at a descriptive introduction or presentation of the plot. We can't tell who is speaking, to whom or what the issues are. We get a sense there are vultures hovering, but they are not...

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