Realizing this, he leaves the bar and goes home. Major Themes In his short fiction Hemingway depicted a disillusioning environment in which his protagonists address the precariousness of existence, the evanescence of happiness, and the universality of suffering.
Joseph Gabriel contended that the dialogue was metronomic and that the resulting confusion was viewed as an integral aspect of the story. For him, the meaning of life is nothing, so religious tradition should be replaced with emptiness.
And when the young waiter says that old men are nasty, the old waiter does not deny the general truth of this statement, but he does come to the defense of the old man by pointing out that this particular old man is clean and that he likes to drink brandy in a clean, well-lighted place.
Likewise, that no character has a name and that there is no characterization emphasize the sterility of this world. Scott Fitzgerald and other ex-patriot American writers of the "lost generation.
Hemingway rarely identified the speaker of each line of dialogue, and confusion ensued about which character was speaking each line. When confronting a world that is meaningless, how is someone who has rejected all of the old values, someone who is now completely alone — how is that person supposed to face this barren world?
For the young waiter, money solves all problems. If everything else has failed, man must have something to resort to or else the only option is suicide — and that is the ultimate end of everything: The young waiter mentions that the old man tried to commit suicide last week.
What is the plot? Hemingway himself suffered severe bouts of insomnia, feeling alone and deserted in the universe. This is illustrated by the contrast between the two major characters: He compares himself to the man, saying he understands the need for a clean, well-lighted place to be at night.
He cannot hear them any more. Brief Biography of Ernest Hemingway Ernest Hemingway grew up outside a suburb of Chicago, spending summers with his family in rural Michigan. The man who takes the order thinks that the old waiter is just another crazy old man; he brings him coffee.
Critics have noted a series of contrasts in the story: A few commentators have viewed the three main characters in the story as an implied progression from youth through middle age to old age. In contrast, the old drunk behaves kindly: Active Themes When the young waiter returns to his colleague, he asks again why the old drunk tried to kill himself.
The old man asks for another drink, and the younger waiter goes to serve him, disdainfully commenting that the old man should have killed himself this is no Mr. At first, commentators speculated that there was a mistake in the text: The younger waiter shows here that he disdains older people—considering this, it makes sense that he makes no effort to genuinely understand them.
Initially, however, the comments of both waiters concerning a passing soldier and a young girl seem very much alike; they both seem to be cynical. After the old man pays his bill and leaves, the old waiter chides the young waiter for his lack of patience and empathy for the old man.
Perhaps he has insomnia, but we know better: Apparently, the old man attempted to hang himself the previous week, but was stopped mid-suicide by his niece. The old man who drinks brandy at the clean, well-lighted cafe is literally deaf, just as he is metaphorically deaf to the outmoded traditions of Christianity and Christian promises: The old drunk, however, believes that life is meaningless, which drove him to suicide in the first place.
Sleep is hours away. The young waiter is reluctant to serve the old drunk, knowing that the old drunk will take it as an invitation to stay even longer.
After articulating life meaninglessness, the old waiter adopts the same attitude of the old drunk even inspiring derision from a bartender, just as the old drunk did.
It was only that and light. The setting is a clean Spanish cafe, where two unnamed waiters — one old and one young — are discussing an old man also unnamed who comes every night, sits alone, and drinks brandy until past closing time. A young waiter is angry; he wishes that the old man would leave so that he and an older waiter could close the cafe and go home.A summary of Symbols in Ernest Hemingway's A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.
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Free summary and analysis of the events in Ernest Hemingway's A Clean, Well-Lighted Place that won't make you snore. We promise. Clean, Well-Lighted Place, A - SparkNotes - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free. Essays and criticism on Ernest Hemingway's A Clean, Well-Lighted Place - Critical Essays.
In "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place," the young waiter says "an old man is (complete the sentence)". “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” is arguably not only one of Hemingway’s best short stories but also a story that clearly demonstrates the techniques of Hemingway’s signature writing style.
Hemingway is known for his economic prose—his writing is minimalist and sparse, with few adverbs or adjectives.Download