1. SCENE OF HENRY’S LUNCH ROOM
Q. No. 1: “THE KILLERS” is a story about anonymous people in nearly anonymous setting. Discuss. OR Reproduce the scene of Henry’s lunch room in your own words. OR Who are Al and Max? Why do they visit Henry’s lunch room? How do they treat the servants of Henry’s lunch room?
Answer: – “THE KILLERS” is a story about anonymous people in nearly anonymous setting. In the story, we come across two hire lings Al and Max who are dressed like twins. They do not know the man whom they want to kill. They enter the Henry’s lunch room at five in the evening and order something to eat. They harass the staff when they order their dinner. But when they learn that dinner is not ready, they get angry. However, they eat sandwiches but do not take their gloves off. They also snub the waiter for looking at them. They ask about Ole Anderson who daily visits this lunch room. Later, they disclose to the members of lunch room staff that they want to kill Ole Anderson to oblige their friend. All members of the staff are shocked and get alert. Both the hire lings become harsh in their attitude to the members of the staff. Al takes Sam and Nick into the kitchen by force just to keep them quiet at gun-point. On the other hand, Max orders George to go on serving the new customers so that they may not suspect anything wrong. They wait for more than two hours. Luckily, Ole Anderson does not visit the lunch room. Both the killers decide to change alter their plan temporarily. In the end, they free the hostages, put their guns under their overcoats and move out. Their presence causes feelings of horror and suspense. (Words: 243)
2. STORY OF SUSPENSE AND HORROR
Q. No. 2: Discuss “THE KILLERS” as a story full of suspense, fear and horror. OR What is the effect of the story on the mind of the readers? OR “THE KILLERS” is a story of atmosphere. Discuss. ORDiscuss “THE KILLERS” as a powerful story.
Answer: – Hemingway has written this story in an atmosphere of suspense, fear and horror. We come across two hire lings who want to murder a man named Ole Anderson. The very first point which causes horror and suspense in the story is the entry of the killers in the hotel and their suspicious dressing. Another point of horror and suspense is the way they eat sandwich without taking their gloves off. Similarly, they cause panic in the lunch room and become harsh in their attitude to the members of the staff. Al takes Sam and Nick into the kitchen by force just to keep them quiet at gun-point. The most important of all the points that causes horror is when they disclose to the members of lunch room staff that they want to kill Ole Anderson to oblige their friend. On the other hand, suspense and horror is at its peak when Ole Anderson is informed of his expected murder and his refusal to run away from the killers. Up to the end of the story, we are unable to guess whether the man will be killed or not. Another factor which contributes to the horror of the story is deepening darkness.
In short, the story is a beautiful blend of horror and suspense. Although, we do not see any murder, yet the shadow of death follows every reader but not the character. (Words: 232)
3. THEME OF THE STORY
Q. No. 3: Discuss the theme of the story. OR What kind of understanding does this story impart to the readers? “THE KILLERS” gives us a glimpse of dark aspects of American society. Discuss. OR “THE KILLERS” is a story of death, crime and murder.
Answer: “THE KILLERS” contains many moral lessons for its readers. However, its one of the major themes is to point out the prevalence of lawlessness in American society. In the story, we meet two hirelings. They want to kill a retired person, Ole Anderson. They visit Henry’s Lunch Room which is situated in the busiest part of the town. These hirelings create panic in the hotel without any fear. They gag the mouth of the servants in the hotel and frighten them. They keep them quiet at gun-point but the law enforcing agencies are utter failure there as they are unable to maintain law and order in society.
Besides being a story revealing the true and distorted figure of American society, the story shows that the life of a man has become so cheap that he can be killed by scoundrels, merely to oblige their friend. This is, of course, the bottom of moral decline. The writer also points out a universal problem and that is unemployment. It is unemployment that makes the young people like Al and Max adopt this profession for mercenary ends. The story also points out that the old and retired people should be treated politely and treated well. (Words: 202)
The Character Sketch Of Ole Anderson
Q.No.4: Who is Ole Anderson? Why do the killers want to kill him? OROle Anderson’s life represents the dark aspects of American society. Elaborate. OR Ole Anderson is a symbol of despair. Discuss.
Answer: – Ole Anderson is the main character of the story. Through his character, Hemingway has tried to highlight the dark aspects of American society. He has tried to show that American society is devoid of inner peace.
Ole Anderson has been a heavy-weight boxer. He is leading a retired and colourless life. We do not have much and accurate information about Ole Anderson. However, a minute reading of the story shows that he is an experienced person who has faced many ups and downs of life. His sagacity is very obvious when he meets Nick. When he is informed of his expected murder, he does not show any nervousness and says: “I am through with all that running around.” However, we are disappointed to see him when he refuses to report the matter to the police on the advice given by Nick. It shows that he knows his past very well and is ready to compromise with his possible murder.
The discussion clearly shows that Ole Anderson is a dissatisfied person and is leading a dull life. He is, no doubt, a symbol of despair. Life and death have same meaning for him because he is now tired of running from the killers and is ready to face death. (Words: 208)
PORTRAITS OF IMPORTANT CHARACTERS
AL, MAX, SAM, NICK, GEORGE.
Q. No. 5: Draw the character sketch of Al.
Answer: – Al is one of the two hire lings presented in the story. After reading the story, we come to know the following aspect of his personality. In so far as his physical appearance is concerned, he has small face and fair complexion. He is wearing a derby hat, a black over coat, a thick muffler and gloves.
The story shows that perhaps is senior to Max or his boss. He is fond of eating and talking. He seems to be a man with negative thinking. He wants to kill Ole Anderson because he wants to please his friend. He is harsh in his attitude towards the members of the staff. He makes the staff of the restaurant hostage in the kitchen. He gags their mouth. He does not allow them to make any noise. He tells them his plan to kill Ole Anderson quite openly.
Al is a sharp minded killer. He knows all the facts to conceal any crime. We come to know it when we see him eating sandwich without taking his gloves off. He does so because he does not want to leave any mark of his hands behind him.
In short, we can say that Al seems to be a man who does not have any sense of humanity, morality or respect. He is truly the representative of an apathetic society which shows lawlessness and is devoid of morality and decency. (Words: 235)
Q. No. 6: Draw the character sketch of Max.
Answer: – Max is one of the two killers. In so far as his physical appearance is concerned, he is like that of Al. He is also dressed like his partner. He is wearing a thick muffler, gloves, a derby hat and overcoat. He is a professional killer.
He like his partner is also apathetic in his attitude towards the members of the lunch room staff. He also causes panic and sensation in the lunch room. He does not show any laxity when he sees Al gagging the mouth of the cook and the counterman with a towel. He also keeps an eye on George and his activities.
Like his partner Al, he also knows how to behave when one is ready to do something wrong. He does not remove his gloves when he eats sandwiches because he does not want to leave any mark of his hands behind him. However, he is more talkative than Al. However, he uses formal way of talking to George. It becomes clear when in such a fearful situation, he is ready to praise George for doing his duty vigilantly. He calls George “A Bright Boy”. He further says: “Bright boy can do every thing. He can cook everything. You would make some girl a nice wife, bright boy”.
He is truly the representative of an apathetic society which shows lawlessness and is devoid of morality and decency. (Words: 232)
Q. No. 7: Draw the character sketch of Sam.
Answer: – Sam is one of the members of staff at Henry’s Lunch Room. He is at home in his working. He is a good cook with extra ordinary quality of preparing different and tasty dishes. It is his quality that attracts the customers. It has also created some permanent customers like Ole Anderson.
When we read the story, we realize that he is not a bold person. When he and his partner are made hostages by Al at gun-point, he feels horrified. He feels relaxation when he is released. He is so coward that he feels afraid and advises George and Nick to stay out of the matter. Even after the departure of the two hire-lings, he does not have courage to support Ole Anderson. After their departure, he advises Nick not to meet Ole Anderson and tell him about his expected murder.
In a nut shell, the whole discussion shows that he is chicken-hearted. However, he is not indifferent to human sympathy. He is good at heart. (Words: 170)
Q. No. 8: Draw the character sketch of Nick Adam.
Answer: – Nick is one of the members of staff at Henry’s Lunch Room. He has something impressive in his personality. He is quick and vigilant in performing his services. He is an impressive caretaker. He looks after the restaurant properly. One thing is worth mentioning in so far as his personality is concerned. Unlike Sam who is also one of the attendants at Henry’s Lunch Room, Nick is sharp minded and a brave fellow. After the arrival of the killers, we can see him saying: “What’s the matter?” Similarly, when Max orders him to stand back to back with Sam, he does not show any hesitation and follows the orders immediately. He realizes that the intentions of the killers are not good.
Another fact that impresses us is his innate goodness. He does not care for his life. He is ready to help others. Sam advises Nick to stay out of the matter but he does not pay heed to his advice and goes to Ole Anderson. He requests Ole Anderson to report the matter to the police. He wants to help Ole Anderson not because Ole Anderson is his customer but because he is a philanthropist. After Ole Anderson’s refusal, he leaves his house with the feelings of anxiety thinking about his expected murder.
In a nut shell, we can say that he is a humanitarian and well wisher of the people. He does not live for himself rather he has the spirit to live for others. (Words: 247)