Style of writing

The language used by Ernest Hemingway in his short story “The Killers” is generally simple and straightforward, making it easy to follow and understand.

The story relies heavily on the dramatic dialogue between its characters. The sentences are short and simple, and we encounter contractions in their structure. Contractions such as “it’s”, “what’s”, “don’t”, etc. help give the dialogue authenticity and convey an informal style of communication.

The dialogue is also often vague, which leaves room for the readers’ interpretation, while repetition, allusions, and symbols give deeper meaning to the story.

Words or phrases with negative connotations stand out in the story: “ ‘We're going to kill a Swede.’ ” (l. 116); “ ‘No. There ain't anything to do.’ ” (l. 240); “ ‘It's too damned awful.’ ” (ll. 292-293) These words contribute to the dramatic atmosphere of the story, suggesting the inevitability of Andresen’ death and the lack of control that the other characters have over this situation.


Repetition is used frequently in “The Killers” to add emphasis to certain ideas and help with characterisations. Repetition is especially important in the story because the dialogue and the narration are often not explicit about the characters, the dynami...

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