Essay Assignment #1
In the short story "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place," Ernest Hemingway shows his unique style by using contrasting images of the old man and the discussion between the two waiters. One can see many themes that Hemingway uses throughout the story. For example, aging seems to be a main issue in the story. His text and choice of words give the reader a gloomy tone, especially in the beginning of the story: "It was late and every one had left the café except an old man who sat in the shadow the leaves of the tree made against the electric light" (154). This shadow shows the darkness in relation to the deaf old man. We come across two waiters in the story whom one is stated to be the younger waiter and his colleague; we could guess is the older waiter. Sometimes instead of age difference, Hemingway would label them as the unhurried or hurried waiter. The reader has to keep in mind of the different personalities of the waiter in order to figure out who is speaking. At some points, the author allows the reader to become confused on who is speaking in order to show his style. "A device of Hemingway's style is sometimes to have a character pause, then speak again- as often happens in actual speech" (155). Even though it can get confusing on who is speaking at some point, the two waiters have different views and personalities. For instance, the younger waiter seems completely casual about the fact that the deaf old man had tried to commit suicide. Instead, "I wish he would go home. I never get to bed before three o'clock. What kind of hour is that to go to bed?" (156). The younger waiter seems impatient and wants the old man to leave so he could go home to his wife. He also seems to have something against aging because he says that an old man is a nasty thing' and that he would not want to be as old as the deaf man (156). He only wants to get to bed early and wants to the old man to leave but he does not seem to...
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