“A Clean Well-Lighted Place”
“A Clean Well-Lighted Place” is written by Ernest Hemingway. The subject of this story is life as nothingness. The story starts off with an old deaf man sitting alone in a café. There are two waiters who watch and wait on the old man because he has a tendency to drink too much and if this happens they know he will walk out and not pay. The waiter talks about how the old man tried to kill himself because he was in despair; the other waiter asks why he felt despair and the first waiter said the reason was nothing because the old man has a lot of money. The old man is a very interesting character; we know he once had a wife, but now is alone with his niece. This story portrays the cycle of life and how surroundings can affect our emotional state.
In this story there aren’t a lot of details that pop out at the readers. The readers have to read the story over and over again to finally understand it. As the text is read, the old man gets drunk at night at the café and likes drinking there because it’s clean and well lighted. The younger waiter tells the old man that there are bars open this late, but the old man likes the café because bars are completely opposite of what he likes. The café is well lighted, clean and quiet; bars are loud, dark and dirty which is something the old man doesn’t want to be around.
In the café there are two waiters that are working; one is older and the other is younger. When reading the story the readers can get an idea of the waiters’ age just by the dialect. The younger waiter wants the old man to go home so he can go home to his wife. The older waiter tries to explain to the younger waiter that that old man was once married once, maybe even had a family at one point of time in his life, but now all he has is his niece. His niece saved the old man’s life when he tried to kill himself; she cut down the rope when he tried to hang himself. They don’t know why he would kill himself, he had plenty of...
Cited: Hemingway, Ernest. A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. 1933. 142-146. Print.
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