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E.Hemingway: The Killers

What kinds of stories and films do you find exciting? Do you think action and suspense are important to make a good story? This is a story by Ernest Hemingway where his favorite protagonist, young Nick, has to deal with two men who are more than ready to kill someone.

Ernest Hemingway (1899 - 1961) started his writing career as a seventeen-year-old reporter in a Kansas City newspaper. During the First World War he volunteered as an ambulance driver in Italy. He was severely injured and spent a long period stuck in a hospital bed. This incident provided the setting for one of his most famous novels A Farewell to Arms. The wounded, courageous hero disillusioned by the war and the brutality of modern society soon became Hemingway's trademark. His preoccupation with bullfighting and deep sea fishing is also evident in his stories. As a war correspondent in the Spanish Civil War and a reporter, he developed a particular style of writing characterised by spare dialogues and understatements.

The short story "The Killers" was written in 1926, at a time when the American Prohibition policy against the production, distribution and consumption of alcohol was at its height. This gave rise to the American mafia and criminal activity which flourished in particular in Chicago, where gangster leaders such as Al Capone ruled. "The Killers" is set against this backdrop. The protagonist, Nick, is with his young and vulnerable appearance, one of Hemingway's favorite characters. He appears in many stories in which he is often exposed to cruelty that he has to find a grown-up way to cope with.

The Killers

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The Killers

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Literature after 1900

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