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 …show more content…
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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In “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” the narrator describes the importance of the cafe compared to all the other places that are open to convey the idea of loneliness and despair. Through the use of imagery, symbolism, point of view and, allegory Ernest Hemingway establishes a connection between the older waiter and the deaf guy, as he illustrates the significance the well-lit cafe brings to their lonely night. As the waiters discuss their thoughts on being open so late, the older waiter claims to be one of those who enjoy the aura of the cafe being open so late compared to other places. “With all those who do not want to go to bed. With all those who need a light for the night.“ The role the cafe plays to diminish loneliness and despair does not go unrecognized by the older waiter and deaf guy who find their escape in that clean well-lit cafe. Loneliness screams louder at night for those who walk through it by themselves. They look to find comfort in a well-lit place with a calm and pleasant aura. The feeling displayed between the old deaf man and older waiter does not register with the younger waiter who does not understand the search of finding peace found in the cafe. The younger waiter has a wife to go home to as the older deaf man and older waiter have nothing and that is their escape from their dark loneliness, the cafe. Since it is clear that Ernest Hemingway has established that the old deaf man
The younger waiter believes he has “no regard for those who have to work.” On the contrary the older waiter also doesn’t belong to a family and attempts to explain “he stays up because he likes it” “it’s clean and well lighted” the light acting as a metaphorical parallel to the comfort the café offers in his otherwise dark life. Seeing as the older waiter understands him he does his best to make the customer feel he belongs and build a relationship with him. He realises that not everyone shares the same perspective realising “it’s not only a question of youth” but in this case a question of lack of relationships allowing sympathy and explaining his actions.
Sadness, frustration, or discontent, however it’s put, there is an obvious difference with the characters in, “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” by Ernest Hemingway, and their ideas of mortality and old age. The short story shows the concept of “nothingness,” displayed through a very depressing view on life. This suggesting that all people, even those who are happy and content, will eventually end up lonely, drunk, or unhappy. By allowing a reader to view this from three diverse perspectives, Hemingway is able to render how someone’s attitude of their own life can go from one extreme to another. Allowing suicide as a final option to surface for some.
7. The setting is used as a reflection of the woman's inner emotions. The sun shines and birds sing with no sign of gloom because she is not actually mourning as she thinks to herself. The lack of sorrow from the woman cause the setting to seem even more lovely to her as she realizes she is feeling joy. The details used by the writer portray a sense of well being and positivity. The woman reaches out towards the window as if her joy is tangible, this is a vey important
We get the picture of the old man drinking and the two waiters observing him and understanding he was drunk. Unlike A Rose for Emily we find out a little more about the character when we find out that the old man is deaf and is a regular client at this café. We also get a better depiction of the scene, “…In the daytime the street was dusty, but at night the dew settled the dust…” Ernest Hemingway also sets up a time frame for us. He lets us know that it is late at night.
In “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” experience characterizes the older waiter because he empathizes with those around him, thereby proving that enduring hardships encourages greater acceptance of others. By explaining how he is different from the young waiter, the older waiter clarifies why he disagrees with the young waiter’s decision to force the deaf customer to leave: “I have never had confidence and I’m not young. … I am of those who like to stay late at the cafe. … With all those who do not want to go to bed. With all those who need a light for the night” (Hemingway 9). Without the overconfidence of the young waiter, the older waiter has humility, a trait that allows him to develop empathy through his life experience. Also, the waiter is older, so he persevered through more difficult situations than the young waiter. Since he undergoes the same sleeplessness that the deaf man faces, the older waiter willingly sacrifices his time because he notices the importance of his job at the cafe to other people. Furthermore, the older waiter acknowledges the importance of the cafe to those like him when he describes that “[e]ach night [he is] reluctant to close up because there may be some one who needs the cafe. … This is a clean and pleasant cafe. It is well lighted. The light is very good and also, now, there are shadows of the leaves” (Hemingway 9). Unlike
The setting of a story is more than a description of time and place. In “The Sniper” and “The Possibility of Evil,” the setting can either be a direct allusion to the meaning of the story or a disguise of what the theme will actually be. The setting can present the meaning and affect the events in the story. For example, “Dublin lay enveloped in darkness but for the dim light of the moon that shone through the clouds,” (The Sniper, 1).
There are three main characters in this short story. A young waiter, an older waiter and a lonely old man. The younger waiter can describe himself as “not old and happy” (Hemingway). Unlike the other two main characters, he is not searching for the meaning of life. Life is good for him at the moment so, he cannot sympathize with the older men. Unlike the young waiter the older gentlemen are not as lucky. Hemingway demonstrates this in his short story.
In history authors have set certain stories in different landscapes and settings for specific reasons. These settings help convey the story and its overall environment. When looking at themes and settings the reader can somewhat easily grasp the plot of a story. In stories like “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “Doe Season” the setting is very important to the scheme and the plot. In the “Tell-Tale Heart” the setting is centered around a dark motel which adds a since of fear and mysteriousness to the heart of the author, but in “Doe Season” the setting is based on being in the woods of Pennsylvania with a family. Based on the differences of setting in David Kaplan’s “Doe Season “and Edgar Allen Poe’s “Tell-tale Heart” one can conclude that settings in a story can factor in a character’s behavior, emotional state, and affects their actions.
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.
Setting contribute to the development of a theme or plot since it influence the objective of the author in writing the story. Setting is the geographic location and the time in which the story is based. It is therefore a literary element that help to dictate and influence the mood and background aspect of the narrative. The way in which the setting contribute to the theme and plot of a story is through key parts of the story such as historical period and culture in addition to period and geography. On the other hand the theme of a story such as The Cask of Amontillado is the message that the author communicate to the audience. The idea that the story focuses on is the main theme. In the story The Yellow Wallpaper, the theme is on the diary
Though not possessed of the same potency as the story’s narration, another significant tool Hemingway employs in constructing the theme of “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” is symbolism. Symbolism, which commonly consists of concrete objects alluding to abstract notions (Kennedy and Gioia 202), manifests itself in “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” in the form of “clean and pleasant” cafés and the night-time hours during which they are frequented (Hemingway 161). In Hemingway’s story, the titular “clean, well-lighted
In the story “A Clean, Well- Lighted Place” by Earnest Hemingway begins with the main character and his co-worker in a café. The two are analyzing, and discussing a deaf, drunk Oldman, who is their last customer of the day. As the deaf old man insists on having more whiskey, the main character informs the young waiter as to why and how the old man tried to commit suicide. They began to converse about the Oldman’s depressed life. The younger waiter is in a rush to go home to his wife, while the older waiter is patient and he stands up for the Oldman, being able to relate to him. Hemingway’s sentence structure and writing style represents the comparison and contrast between setting, people, and objects, along with emphasizing how it is to have and be nothing.
Hemingway's second portrayal of symbolism that a reader may distinguish is the café itself. The café represents a sanctuary of the evilness of the world. The namesake of the short story is a clue for the reader to see that the café would represent some form of an asylum not only from the elements of nature, but also safety from evil. An example of the usefulness of this sanctuary is how the deaf old man uses the café as a safe-haven to be to himself after the incident where he almost succeeded in committing suicide and enjoys the comfort the café gives. The old waiter represents in the café the kindness and caring that the café should provide; whereas the younger waiter is more of a materialistic character. He clearly displays shallowness and selfishness. Arthur Waldhorn writes that the older waiter helps keep the light on a little longer at the café for those, who like himself, 'do not want to go to bed.' (P 28) The younger waiter is a protagonist in attitude of the older waiter. The philosophy of Nihilism is brought into this theme when the older man recites the Lord's Prayer but substitutes the word "nada" for every noun in it. Nihilism is brought onto a larger scale because it is very evident that there is nothing to believe in, even as a
This story was written by Hemingway in 1933. It details an evening's interaction between two waiters, and their differing perspectives of life. Hemingway uses an old man as a patron to demonstrate the waiter's philosophies. Hemingway is also visible in the story as the old man, someone who society says should be content, but has a significant empty feeling inside. What follows is a line-by-line analysis, putting emphasis on the philosophies of the waiters.