Discussing Hemingway by Abbegail Louie

During this years fiction unit, CW I is focusing on Hemingway. We are focusing precisely on his stripped language throughout his short stories and his use of structured absence. Today we held a discussion on Hemingway’s subtext within “The Killers.”

Our discussions are held after reading the text, and while everyone is participating I use discussions to clarify. Even when I read as carefully as possible, phrases and sentences jump up from the pages just to fly over my head. I feel like I’m always missing something while I read, but I assume that is why we hold discussions. Hearing my peer’s thoughts and interpretations of the text make me want to reread every book I ever “read” in my life.

I am usually not one to shy away from talking, but during discussions I have to really think before I try to make a point. That should go for everything, but I usually don’t mind making a fool out of myself. How else will I learn? Every time a point or realization pops into my head, I jot it down into my notebook and read it to myself. This orients my ideas in a more organized matter where I won’t trip over my words as I talk.

There are a lot of takeaways I am gaining from studying Hemingway’s short stories, like:

  • The importance of diction
  • Clarification is key
  • Less is more.
  • Detach yourself, it will be fine.
  • Discussions are like SparkNotes.

Along with the takeaways, I have one burning question that bothered me throughout our whole discussion: Is everyone’s life structured around the absence of not knowing what really happens to you after death?


Abbegail Louie, class of 2019

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