Hemingway's Use Of Suspense In The Killers

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In the 1920s, organized crime peaked due to prohibition. The Mafia played a prominent role in the crimes of the era, partaking in drug trafficking and murder. Ernest Hemingway spent time as a young man in Chicago and the misconducts that occurred inclined him to write the short story, “The Killers.” Despite not adding direct background information concerning the city, Hemingway succeeded in creating suspense by utilizing dialogue, character, and setting. Stark and repetitive, the dialogue in “The Killers” emphasized the suspense of the situation. The exchange of sharp phrases between the hitmen and the three occupants of Henry’s diner indicated a blunt atmosphere. For instance, when Al asked what dishes the diner offered, George replied, “you can have ham and eggs, bacon and eggs, liver and bacon, or a steak.” Next, Al asked for chicken croquettes with green peas and cream sauce and mashed potatoes. However, George restated his…show more content…
From the beginning, Hemingway used descriptive language to describe the environment stating “outside it was getting dark” and “the street light came on outside the window.” The street lights turning on foreshadowed ominous actions. Located in a town named Summit, Henry’s Lunchroom acted as an introduction to the mood of the story. The compact diner indicated that the two killers traveled to a foreign place where they did not belong. Furthermore, suspicion rose as the reader pondered if the killers would reach Ole Andreson at Mrs. Hirsch’s Boarding House before Nick could warn him. In addition, both Henry’s Lunch Room and Mrs. Hirsch’s Boarding House added to the confusion. The readers never met Henry or Mrs. Hirsch. The other irrelevant characters, George and Mrs. Bell, ran the main settings of the story. This deceptive theme of others not calling the shots and performing their jobs allowed the audience to relate it to the two killers
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