The first-person narrator hears the music coming down the street. Maera sees Luis among them. He is dancing along with the crowd, drunk. Maera tells the narrator to go get him. He tries to get Luis to come with him, because Luis has to fight bulls in the afternoon, but he would not listen. He tells the narrator to leave him alone because the narrator is not his father. Back at the hotel, Maera is disgusted that the narrator did not bring him back. The narrator calls Luis an "ignorant Mexican savage." Maera asks who will kill Luis's bulls. The narrator guesses that he and Maera will. Maera agrees, bitterly.
In Luis, we see masculinity going wild. He will not stop dancing, drinking, and partying, even though he has to fight bulls in the afternoon. The other men at least show a disciplined masculinity.
Sparknotes' commentary for On the Quai at Smyrna seems to have quite a few historical errors. The commentary states that the narrator is likely talking about the Greek evacuation of Thrace, but the title is On the Quai at Smyrna. Smyrna is a city in modern-day Turkey (now called Izmir). The Christian (mainly Greek and Armenian) part of Smyrna was burned in 1922 after the Turks recaptured the city from the Greeks. Hemingway was actually in Turkey just after the Great Fire to cover the Greco-Turkish War as a correspondent for the Toronto Star.... Read more→
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I think it is difficult to talk about this short story without acknowledging the use of literary minimalism. Several pieces of information are left out of the text but most readers come to the conclusion that Mrs. Elliot is a lesbian. Her marriage to Hubert is one of convenience, and her desire to have a baby is, arguably, to prove that she is not Lesbian (or just so that she can live in the current society without being judged).
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