Al and Max

Outer characterisation

Al and Max have come to Summit to kill a Swedish boxer named Ole Andreson. They claim that the man does not know them and that they will kill him “to oblige a friend” (l. 129). This is a euphemism meant to suggest that they are part of an organised crime group. Summit’s proximity to Chicago – and implicitly to the criminal gangs in the city – confirms this idea.

Their outer characterisation tells us that they are physically very similar, and even their body language is the same:

‘I'll take ham and eggs,’ the man called Al said. He wore a derby hat and a black overcoat buttoned across the chest. His face was small and white and he had tight lips. He wore a silk muffler and gloves.
‘Give me bacon and eggs,’ said the other man. He was about the same size as Al. Their faces were different, but they were dressed like twins. Both wore overcoats too tight for them. They sat leaning forward, their elbows on the counter. (ll. 23-28)

It is also suggested that Al is Jewish...

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