The Killers Ideas for Reports and Papers
by Ernest Hemingway

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Ideas for Reports and Papers

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. The menu items in Henry's lunch-room are mentioned several times. Why does Hemingway devote nearly two pages to food choices and what is available at what hour? Can you make a case for the choices being the different paths we choose in life?

2. Many things in the story are not as they seem. For example, Henry's is run by George. Make a list of other oddities in the story.

3. What is the relationship between Al and Max? Are they friends? Do they know each other well? Back up your opinion by passages in the story.

4. Hemingway allows the hit men to call the cook "nigger." When the men are gone, the cook is referred to as the cook or called by his name, Sam. Why?

5. What is the symbolism of the wall in Ole Andreson's room?

6. Hemingway never says the story takes place in winter, but he gives many clues to this season. Find references in the story that point to the time of year.

7. Why does Nick Adams want to leave town? Explain his reactions to the entire event. Do you like Nick or dislike him? Support your reasons with passages from the story.

8. Write a character sketch of George. How do his final words, "you better not think about it," reflect his character?