Topics for Discussion
1. Hemingway describes the hit men in detail. What are the hit men wearing? Why is it important to the story to know how they are dressed?
2. Why does Max take Al's food?
3. Both Max and Al repeat the phrase "a bright boy." Why? Do the two hit men seem like bright boys?
4. Why did the men eat with their gloves on? What does this reveal about them?
5. Why do the hit men tell George that he has a lot of luck and ought to play the races?
6. After learning that Nick is going to see Ole Andreson, the cook says, "Little boys always know what they want to do." What does this mean?
7. Who decides that someone ought to talk to Ole Andreson? Why does Nick go to see the old prizefighter?
8. Why is Ole Andreson fully dressed and lying on his bed? Why has he not gone out?
9. Ole Andreson seems to know there is no use in running from the inevitable. What does this say about his character?
10. Why does the cook not want to hear the result of Nick's interview with Ole?