A Clean, Well-Lighted Place Essay

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“ A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” by Ernest Hemingway is a simplistic short story in which he narrates a scene in a Cafe, where the main characters are two waiters and an old man. In the story, Hemingway hardly created a background for his characters, but this was part of his minimalist writing style. He wanted to create a story that was straightforward to the reader, and in which the reader could easily understand his attitude. His purpose for writing the story was to expose his feelings on society, politics, and the individual at the time. These feelings could be characterized by three main words: desperation, disillusionment, and loneliness. Through all of the characters in his story, the reader was able to obtain one of these feelings. …show more content…
For example, in the original story Hemingway uses the waiters to indirectly give some background on the old man by creating dialogue between them such as, "He was in despair.", or "He's drunk every night.", but there is no more depth to his character, just inferences made by the waiters (Hemingway 201-202). In my story the old man explains why he is in despair: “All my life I spent wasting my money in pleasure and luxury. I never had anyone teach me the value of it. I never learned to look beyond the material lifestyle, and never learned the meaning of love” (Mesa 1). By the old man explaining this, the reader can relate more to him. In my scene I also assure the reader that the rumor about the old man trying to commit suicide is true, and create an explanation for the attempt. While in the original story, the waiters only have comments from what they have heard from other people such as, "Last week he tried to commit suicide," and "He hung himself with a rope" in my scene the old man himself explains what really happened (Hemingway 201-202). He states: Last week I tried to hang myself in the basement of my house, but my niece got just in time to cut me off and save me. No one understands why I did it. Since I have money, they must think I am a lunatic for trying to kill myself, that I must have a wonderful life and I do not appreciate it, but what they do not understand is
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