"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 caf©. 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 nteresting 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 caf© 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 caf© because bars are completely opposite of what he ikes. The caf© 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 caf© 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.
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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 money. The waiters talked about how he tried to commit suicide and how he did it because he was in despair. The older waiter asked why and the younger waiter said "nothing".
They were waiting to close up the caf©, but the old man was still there; yes he was deaf and drunk but he was very quiet and didn't make much noise. The old man asked for another drink and the young waiter gives him the drink and says the old man, mfou should have killed ourself last week. " (Hemmingway 143). The older waiter tries to explain to the younger waiter that old age is a terrible thing, that one day he will be there and he doesn't know how he will be or how he will act when he is an old man. The old man waved for another drink but the young waiter refused; the old man paid and left the caf©.
The younger waiter is impatient and insensitive as some would like to argue. He's excited to go home to his wife, and wants to leave because unlike the old man he isn't lonely. The text show that the younger waiter says immature comments about the old an because he wants to go home, but he doesn't think about the old man, he only thinks about himselt. The younger waiter doesn't think like the old man, old man thinks about many thinks very deeply, yet the younger waiter doesn't think about anyone, but what the younger waiter doesn't seem to realize is that he won't be young forever.
In a way he is Just like the younger people in our society now: carefree, young and reckless. As readers can argue young individuals have their whole life ahead of them, so youngsters should be carefree in a way. The older aiter likes to stay late at the caf© Just like the old man and he tries to explain to the younger waiter that the old man likes to stay up because he likes it; the younger waiter Just ignores it and says that he is lonely.
The older waiter knows how the old man is because they are both in a way reluctant to go home. The older waiter can relate to the old man because of their age similarity, besides, he walks out without paying. The reason he sides with the old man is because maybe one day he will need someone to keep a caf© open late Just for him. The old man likes staying out late ecause he has nothing to go home to, he says he has insomnia and that many people have that.
As readers can argue the older waiter probably tells himself that so he really doesn't seem alone because older people who have nothing to go home to try to occupy their mind so they don't wither away in their own depression. Some would also argue Hemingway contrasts light and shadow, maybe the contrast between young and old; impatient and relaxed; family guy and no family guy. Since the old man is deaf, some readers could say it's a way to distance himself from everyone, like a symbol of separation form the world because he is older.
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