A Clean, Well Lighted Place By Ernest Hemingway

1640 Words7 Pages
“A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” is possibly one of Hemingway’s most excellent short stories. It depicts the techniques of his signature writing style. The narrative is a perfect example of an initiation story, a short story that focuses on the key character that comes across a concept, encounter, practice or knowledge he never knew. The characters in his story are the old man, young waiter, and the old waiter. Hemingway employs a number of literary tools in the story to convey his themes of life as nothingness as well as struggle to tackle despair as the character are seen battling life problems. In this short story, Ernest Hemingway uses the literary tools of symbols to convey man’s attempt to generate a sense of structure and meaning in…show more content…
The old man had attempted to deal with despair in various ways unsuccessfully (Hemingway, 1990). He has money; however, it has not assisted him. His only ways to handle this despair is to sit in the well-lit cafeteria. He feels that he will not be lonely if he just sits there. The older waiter mocks his prayers by constantly using the world nada. He seems to show that religion cannot solve despair and his answer just like the old man is to spend time during the night at cafes (Hemingway, 1990). He is very specific on the cafe he loves; it ought to be well lit and hygienic. To him, bars and other entertainment spots do not eliminate despair as they are not well lit. The habitual sitting at the cafe and the drinking aids them in tackling despair as it makes life predictable meaning they can control it, unlike nothingness that follows.
Motif; Loneliness
Hemingway’s employment of motif of loneliness proposes that although many individuals are faced with despair, everybody ought to struggle alone. The old man with no wife is evidently feeling alone. The youthful waiter complains of the old man not going home depict the different world the two are in. He says “He’s lonely. I’m not lonely.” (381) Loneliness to him is the main difference between them; however, he does not want to know why the old man is lonely or that someday he might have a feeling of being alone (Gabriel, 1961). The older waiter, though he does
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