A Clean Well Lighted Place Analysis

744 Words3 Pages
Stephany Seth
Professor Mary Dodson
ENGL 1302-013
01 October 2017
A Clean, Well-Lighted Place Keeps Away the Darkness
A Clean, Well-Lighted Place written by Ernest Hemingway was originally published is 1933 by Scribner’s Magazine (Britannica). In the short story, Hemingway tells about a conversation between two waiters who work in a café. The pair talks about a customer, an old man who regularly comes into the café. They begin discussing the old man’s attempt at suicide. The story which seems to start off about the old man really becomes about the fear the old waiter has of becoming like the old man. The importance of the characters, setting, and symbolism of the story all help Hemingway to express the hopelessness and loneliness of the old man and the older waiter.
The story’s characters consist of the young waiter who is confident but seems to be a bit naïve about what life is really about. His main concerns seem to be about money and sex. The older waiter who has a greater understanding of what is important in life. He knows that in the end money and sex won’t be the things that will make a
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Once at the bodega he mentions that “the light is very bright and pleasant but the bar is unpolished” (Hemingway). Again the light plays a significant role in the story. It is a symbol of something joyful to the waiter. The older waiter feels he is much like the old man, he knows the feeling of being alone and not having anything in his life to bring him joy. The light acts as a temporary joy for both older men. Another symbolic word in; A clean, well-lighted place is the word “nada”. The older waiter uses the word toward the end of the story, he refers to the Lord’s Prayer substituting various words with the word nada. The waiter also makes the comment that “It was all a nothing and a man was nothing too” (Hemingway). He sees himself as nothing and his life as nothing or
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