A Clean Well Lighted Place - Theme and Setting Essay

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Theme and Setting
A clean well lighted place by Ernest Hemingway has a few themes that stand out clearly but the one theme that stands out to me is despair. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, despair means to lose all hope or confidence. In the story, the older waiter and the old deaf man somehow share a common bond of despair. Both men are of age and like to be out, late at night, alone. Asides from the story alone, the theme of the story can be brought out by the setting. The setting contributes to the story’s theme in different ways. The setting contributes to the mood of the story, to the structure of the story, and to the lesson of the story. The café represents salvation for despair which is shown through the setting of the
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If the old man were to drink in that bar then the story’s mood could have been perceived in a different way. Furthermore, the setting contributes to the structure of the story, like cartilages in a human body. The café can be viewed as a workplace and also as a place of peaceful socialization. Each person deals with despair differently. Having the setting at a café where it was mentioned that it was quiet help structure the story that it is neither a depressing story nor, a happy story. The two waiters who were gossiping about the old man mentioned that he had committed suicide but, he was saved. Being in a café is different than rather being in a bar or anywhere else. The café signifies a place for space or time, depending on the person. The old man is not trying to cure his despair but rather subdue it. The setting could have taken place anywhere but it also could have affected the structure of the story differently. For example, when the older waiter was out trying to kill time due to insomnia, he went to a bar but, it was not soothing; therefore, he went home. This proves how the setting was able to support its main structure of having a café rather than a different place. Finally, the lesson of the story is that do not be impatient. The setting contributed to how the lesson of the story was delivered. The old deaf man was not harming anyone and the café was not to close ‘til
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