AClean Well-Lighted Place Ernest Hemingway’s
Profoundly,the narrative is of a deaf old man who loves a cool and calm night inthe bar. Looking on, are two waiters who are waiting for their clientto leave so that they can close the business while conversing amongthemselves("Literary Analysis: ‘A Clean Well-Lighted Place’").The waiters recollect about the recent story whereby the old man intheir café attempted to commit suicide. One of the waiters theyoungest between the two, grows impatient and approaches the old manand tells him that he wished that the suicide attempt was successful("Literary Analysis: ‘A Clean Well-Lighted Place’").Instantly after the senior attendant notifies the young attendantthat the elderly chap has a wife, he becomes adamant and refuses toserve the old man anymore and asks him to leave the café. The youngwaiter could not understand why the old man was staying late in theircafé when he has a wife in bed waiting for him to go home.
Notably,several themesthat have been highlighted in the story, particularly,loneliness is the primary subject since the author has explicitlydepicted it in his narration("Literary Analysis: ‘A Clean Well-Lighted Place’").Hemingway interprets life as having no meaning, giving a picture ofthe how the old man lives his life. Likewise, the idea is articulatedthrough the fact that the old man is deaf, and he devotes his lifedrinking in the café because he has a lot of money.("Literary Analysis: ‘A Clean Well-Lighted Place’").Besides, the author portrays life as one useless affair through theold man’s character everything is meaningless, even with all theresources and privileges, but there is one thing that is for sure,apart from death, and that is loneliness.
Inaddition, the older waiter creates the idea more vividly, by sayingthat, "It was all nothing, and the man was nothing too.”("AClean Well-Lighted Place: Metaphor Analysis | Novel Guide").Besides,he also substitutes the short prayer from the Bible with a Spanishword nada, meaning nothing. The substitution is a symbol that evenwith religion, life is meaningless and oblivion. Instead of using theactual words from the Bible, the waiter say, “Our nada who art innada” instead of “our father who art in heaven.”("A Clean Well-Lighted Place: Metaphor Analysis | Novel Guide").The substitution wipes out the idea of God and heaven due to thedesperation that creeps in life as a result of old age.
Seemingly,the loneliness theme is also seen as a reason why people strugglewith a sense of despair. The author uses nada as a metaphor for themodern society chaos of loneliness and nothingness("A Clean Well-Lighted Place: Metaphor Analysis | Novel Guide").The old waiter represents oblivion as the absence of meaning andorder in life. The author uses contrast as a technique of bringingthe theme to light. The two waitrons live in diverse worldviewsafter a dialogue, the senior waitron says, "We are of twodifferent kinds."("A Clean Well-Lighted Place: Metaphor Analysis | Novel Guide").Theself-centeredness of the young waiter and his cynic reveals that theyoung people are full of energy, and they do not feel lonely in theirlives. He tells the older server that he is full of confidence. Justlike any other young person, he thinks that the world is alwaysjovial and active all the time("A Clean Well-Lighted Place: Metaphor Analysis | Novel Guide").But then again, the old waiter reminds the young one that he is justa youth who has everything and it will only last until experienceteaches him on life’s disappointments.
Theolder waiter is used as a symbol to represent facts about life and asthe one who understand the world is a lonely place as well as whocomprehend the difference between the café and the bodegas("Clean Well-Lighted Place–Ernest Hemingway").Figuratively, the restaurant represents the lighter part of life,whereas the bodegas characterize the darker part of life, whereloneliness is more evident than in the café("Clean Well-Lighted Place–Ernest Hemingway").Also, the older waiter describes the Hemingway code that ishumanistic to the loneliness of the life.
Thecafé is a symbol of hope in the life of those individuals who arelonely and feel that life has no meaning. As with the old man, hefinds peace in the café, where he drinks his brandy with peace,unlike his home where he had attempted to commit suicide("Hemmingway’s A Clean, Well-Lighted Place: The Theme of theOld | Online Homework Help | Schoolwork helper").The café becomes a place where the old man can fight desperation,find refuge but not escape to the drudgery and loneliness of life.Symbolically, the lighting of the café signifies the opposite of theloneliness in the life, and that is why he insists on itscleanliness.Itsuggests the simplicity as well as the order where people can go forrefuge when everything else is meaningless.
Thesubject matter of the short story is used as a metaphor that embodiesthe cooler place, which provides solace away from the dark reality oflife. The author is a realist and a philosopher who believes thatlife’s purpose is to find a clean well-lit place that will providean escape from the loneliness of the world.Therefore,the light in the café gives the elderly chap and the senior waiter adistraction from the dark loneliness of their life since itsymbolizes any form of entertainment that human beings can use toforget about the loneliness of the world.Thestory also demonstrates the author’s outlook on the world, howlonely the world can be, as well as the way a man can create anescape from the despair that comes with life’s challenges.
Theauthor uses comparison to spotlight the theme of his story, that is,the contrast between the old man and the young waiter, which bringsabout the loneliness that develops with time.Theconfidence of the young waiter is the consistency with the brighterside of life whereas the loneliness of life is as a result of a darkpart that is brought with the difficulty and uncertainty of life.Theiractions are also contrasting with their characters one finds solaceand peace at home to his wife whereas the other characters preferstaying at the café, as it is one of the best places to find solace.
Theold man’s home is also used emblematically as a place ofnothingness and loneliness the authors illustrate it as a placewhere the old man goes to after drinking, but he is unable to getsome sleep, or solace("Cleanwell").The use of reflection as well brings into view the theme ofloneliness when the old waiter reflects on the old man’s fate, “Itis nothing that he knew too well. It was all nothing and the man wasnothing too….some lived in it and never felt it but he knew it wasall ‘nada.`”("Cleanwell").
Dialogueis yet another element that the author uses to bring out the theme ofthe story. The dialogue between the old waiter and the young waiterreveals loneliness as a problem that engulfs the two characters. Theold man and the waiter seem to be immersed in a series of thoughts,which shows that indeed isolation is real as one grows old("Cleanwell").The author has not failed in ensuring that the reader sees clearlythat old age brings forth nothingness and eventually loneliness thelack of sleep by the old man is due to the oblivion, thus,reaffirming loneliness in life("Cleanwell").
Finally,the use of conflict is also evident in the story the old man wishesto stay in the café and fight his loneliness with a bottle of beerwhereas the young man feels lonely in the restaurant and hopes to gohome to his wife since it is lonely at the café("Cleanwell").This kind of conflict is recognized as external, for it vividlydisplays the theme to the readers. Correspondingly, internal conflictis seen as well when the senior server recites the Lord’s Prayersubstituting several verses with ‘nada’("Cleanwell"). Itclearly confirms loneliness since the server believes in nothing,since he does not even believe in God or any religion. “A clean,Well-Lighted Place,” is one of the best books by Hemingway, for itevidently displays the mode of his signature and his writingtechnique. The writer is well known for his economic prose, which isexpressed in his work he uses very few adjectives and adverbs, thusmaking his writing scarce and modest. The playwright is vigilant toinclude only essential information, and habitually neglectingcontextual information. Evidently, he uses pronouns, without clearbackgrounds. It is easy for a reader to note that, throughout thestory, the author hardly identifies which waitron is talking, hencenot using the technique of clarification. A significant component isthat two waitrons are deliberating about a drunken elderly chap.
"TheLogic Of Confusion In Hemingway`s "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place"On JSTOR." Jstor.org.N.P., 2016. Web. 10 Aug. 2016.
"LiteraryAnalysis: ‘A Clean Well-Lighted Place.`" B.A.Archana`sBlog.N.P., 2011. Web. 10 Aug. 2016.
"Cleanwell." Austincc.edu.N.P., 2016. Web. 10 Aug. 2016.
"AClean Well-Lighted Place: Metaphor Analysis | Novel Guide."Novelguide.N.P., 2016. Web. 10 Aug. 2016.
"Hemmingway’sA Clean, Well-Lighted Place: The Theme of the Old | Online HomeworkHelp | Schoolwork helper." Schoolworkhelper.net.N. P, 2016. Web. 10 Aug. 2016.
"�AClean Well-Lighted Place�: The Revelation of Nada."Lonestar.edu.N.P., 2016. Web. 10 Aug. 2016.