The Killers Questions and Answers
by Ernest Hemingway

The Killers book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Who is the protagonist of "The Killers" by Ernest Hemingway?

Expert Answers info

William Delaney eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write5,416 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

It is possible to have a protagonist in a story who never appears in person but whose motivation and influence is are felt throughout. A good example of this, with which Hemingway must have been familiar, is to be found in Henry James's greatest novel, The Ambassadors (1903). Mrs. Newsome, the rich and domineering mother of Chad Newsome, is the protagonist although she remains in America while everything take place in Europe. It is she who sends the middle-aged hero Lambert Strether to Paris to find her son Chad and persuade him to come home to take his place managing the family manufacturing business. It is Mrs. Newsome's strong motivation that drives the story. When Strether does not seem to be making much progress with Chad, who is having an affair with a married woman, Mrs. Newsome sends two more "ambassadors" to France, her stiff, prudish daughter and her daughter's husband. Since there should be an antagonist as well as a protagonist, it is clear that the antagonist is the cultured,...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 599 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

William Delaney eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write5,416 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

bmadnick eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2007

write1,334 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial