Analysis of A Clean Well-Lighted Place by Ernest Hemingway Essay examples
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Ernest Hemingway's short story, "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place," first published in 1933, is written in his characteristic terse style. It is the story of two waiters having a conversation in a café, just before closing up and going home for the night. They cannot leave because they still have a customer. One is anxious to get home to his wife, while the other sympathizes with the old man sitting at the table. Without realizing it, they are discussing the meaning of life. I believe that the story takes place during WWI in Spain. There is a soldier walking on the street with a girl. The waiters comment that the guard will pick them up soon if they do not get inside. It is between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. because the cafe is about to close…show more content…
He is also afraid of growing old. He says, “I wouldn’t want to be that old. An old man is a nasty thing.” He is also anxious to get home to his wife. The older waiter is much more understanding of the old man’s situation. He knows what it feels like to be lonely. He knows the desire to stay in the light that staves off the darkness, a darkness that brings thoughts of how lonely you really are. There is an emptiness in him can only be filled with the cleanliness and light of the café. He feels that this is the same for the old man. The third character is the old man. What we know of him is that he is deaf and passes every night getting drunk at the café. It is believed by the waiters that he has plenty of money. After all, he can afford to sit and get drunk every night. Even when he is drunk, he is incredibly neat. “This old man is clean. He drinks without spilling. Even now, drunk.” He is filled with despair, which may be the reason that he tried to hang himself the week before. He is taken care of by his niece, since she was the one who saved him when he tried to kill himself. He may have been married at one time. He has no real desire to go home, since he waits until the waiters cut him off before he leaves. This story is a tale of emptiness and loneliness and how different people deal with it. The younger waiter, who does not feel either, goes home to his wife. The older waiter feels both and looks
College English is the professional journal for the college scholar-teacher. CE publishes articles about literature, rhetoric-composition, critical theory, creative writing theory and pedagogy, linguistics, literacy, reading theory, pedagogy, and professional issues related to the teaching of English. Issues may also include review essays. Contributions may work across traditional field boundaries; authors represent the full range of institutional types.
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