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The Killers VS Hills Like White Elephants

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Literature is a form of writing that shows expression and artistic values it’s definitely one of the most interesting and graceful talents in the world over. Written literature gets even better as everyone’s cup of tea is available with the vast groups of genres is at everyone’s disposal. I, however, dig into the work of the renowned American Ernest Hemingway, a writer, and a novelist, Ernest Hemingway, who had a knack of writing short narrative stories that were mostly fictional passages. In this paper, we’ll take a synopsis look at two of his work on ‘The Killers’ book, compare and contrast it with his other book, ‘Hills Like White Elephant’. Both done and published in 1927. Basically, this paper is about deciphering the differences and pointing out their similarities in style and theme.

In ‘Killers’, its a story about a disillusioned young man set on changing the state of a situation by trying to save the life of a man on a hit list. While in ‘Hills’, It’s a story about a young couple conversing about an operation in which the young girl is ambivalent to go through with, their brief conversation takes place as they are drinking alcohol while waiting for a train in a small town in Spain,

Let us start with Themes comparison in both passages, the technique used is terse and Concise, a few words to intimate a larger story. They are both short stories with a large meaning. In the ‘Killers’, the story can be construed as a narrative about a young man nick Adams who doesn’t know the dangers and repercussions of his heroic action while in the ‘Hills story may be understood as the story about naivety of the young girl who was unsure of having an abortion and the repercussion that goes with it.

Under the theme, we can also do a comparison inference, where the author uses antagonist and protagonist character in both passages. In ‘killers’, the author uses the ‘American man’ as the story’s antagonist character. for example, he constantly badgered the girl to have an abortion using a fake concerned and supportive tone while the girl is the protagonist because she didn’t want to have an abortion. In ‘hills’, the author uses ole Anderson the pugilist who had a bounty on his head as the antagonist and nick Adams the young man who was trying to help ole Anderson from getting killed, as the protagonist

The similarity is scene Characterization in both stories shows the description of the environment where the characters were placed. In ‘killers’, There is a description is of a lunch cafeteria located in a small town, while in ‘Hills the environment the couple sipped the drinks, is described as a train platform café, a train station somewhere in Spain.

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Some contrast in both stories can be seen in the language expression that the author used. both passages were written in the early nineteenth century, the language used in that era was different from what we use today, whether formal or informal. In ‘Killers’, the author uses colloquial language commonly used by the uncultured population in an informal environment. he used the word ‘nigger’ a lot within the hit men’s dialogue. it shows authors background where racism might have been prevalent, while in ‘ Hills’ the authors used a more polished & polite language when the characters were holding a dialogue

A comparison and contrast in the author’s style of writing for both books can be noted as follows. by Comparison, both stories have a simple style of writing revealing minimal details with a deeper meaning below, iceberg principle. for example in ‘Killers’, the story is about Nick Adams, a young man’s exposure to a hostile environment & agonistic society represented by the killers, Al & Max while in ‘Hills’, the story is about the subject of an abortion that is cleverly disguised. By contrast, the author used a physical description of the characters in one book and completely omitted it in the other book. For example, in ‘Killers’: The author describes the killers as mean, gangster, wearing identical tight overcoats, muffler & hats, eating food with gloves whereas in ‘Hills’ there was no description of either the man nor the girl’s physical attributes, appearance nor clothing,

Under style, the author deployed a similarity in dialogue narration in both stories. For example, In ‘The Killers’ there are various conversations between Nick Adams, the hitmen (Max and Al), George and Ole Anderson. The same applies to ‘Hills’ where there is a dialogue between the couple. He has used the dialogue in both stories to attain various goals which include, to advance the plot of the narrative, to reveal some character personalities in order to present a background exposition and to create a tone of the narrative. It is also important to mention that in his work the use of offensive dialect has colored the personalities of characters as someone full of contempt, the use of harsh terms (nigger in ‘The Killers’) was a derogatory term used by the racist community.

However, the themes portrayed by the two stories are different like night and day. In The Killers I find the author to have driven themes of death, friendship and the purpose of life. Death is observed as the hitmen (Max and Al) are keen on killing Ole Anderson. They wait patiently for him to show up so that they can take his life but quite luckily he never shows up. Friendship is evident as Nick Adams goes out of his way to inform Ole Anderson of how his life was in danger despite the risk. When Ole Anderson is informed, he has already lost hope and his purpose in life. On the other hand, Hills Like White Elephants tend to drive the prospects of a procedure. The conversation between a couple and their discussion is about an abortion albeit indirectly. The context of the strained dialogue gives a sense of a nagging selfish man.there is also the use of metaphor in this scene where the author mentions the girl’s observation of a contrasting landscape of a fertile land imitating a good life while directly opposite the train tracks is dry and dusty landscape which may indicate death. the contrast makes the girl confused about the scene’s disparity, then wonders aloud whether to have a baby or abortion. The author expressing that the girl was split between giving life or death.

Lastly under style, a comparison in both passages, there is the use of satire and sarcasm. In ‘Killers’, This can be seen all through the conversation as both Max and Al ironically address both George and Nick Adams. (…’Another bright boy,’ Al said. ‘Ain’t he a bright boy, Max?’…). an indirectly way of showing a character full of contempt. In ‘Hills’, it’s the couple’s use of indirect sarcastic terms when communicating with each other. (…’ it’s just to let the air in’…), the man using sarcasm about abortion being a simple and safe procedure.

In summary Earnest, Hemmingway liked using very short sentences and minimal words in both short stories. He uses the same style & theme in both books. Always having a deeper meaning beneath the surface. His style of writing was unusual, without a deep perceptive evaluation, the structure of his sentences; figurative stories and objective views sometimes left readers clueless and dilemmatic. With readers denied so much information on the surface and having a lot of questions on the story’s depth, the author coined the term iceberg theory. Never the less Earnest Hemmingway came out as one of the best and unique literature writers of all time.

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The Killers VS Hills Like White Elephants. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 4, 2022, from
“The Killers VS Hills Like White Elephants.” Edubirdie, 29 Jun. 2022,
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