Clean Well-Lighted Place One of Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:

This perspective gives us insight into the human condition in that it reveals that life experience is worth something and that notion is something young people simply cannot grasp fully. The young are more confident because they have not experienced as many hardships. For example, the younger waiter is "all confidence" (96) while the older waiter is not. In fact, he can relate to the old man more than he would like to. He knows there is nothing worse than going home to nothing. The younger waiter wants to hurry home while the older waiter feels as if he is doing a good deed by providing a "light for the night' (97) for the old man any anyone that might be like him. The older waiter knows why the clean and bright cafe is appealing to the people that come around at night and he does not mind keeping the old man away from the darkness of the night a little longer. This loneliness is experienced only by the older men and it is something that cannot be conveyed to the younger waiter - not without experience.

Clean, Well-Lighted Place" is successful because Hemingway plays the young against the old. We are able to see two different perspectives and this helps Hemingway reinforce his theme of loneliness and despair by placing two characters that are almost opposite from each other in the same cafe. The young waiter his future ahead of him and sees no reason to dread anything. He is confident; he has a job and a wife. The older waiter understands that these are fleeting and there is no guarantee of our keeping them from one to the next and, before we know it, we are older. The contrast of these two mindsets works well in the story because Hemingway brings both of them back to the notion of nothingness. The younger waiter represents the type of selfishness that many young people possess simply because they cannot relate to the experience that life brings. In essence, he has nothing to offer either older man because he is impatient and only wanting to satisfy himself at the moment. He is so concerned with going home and going to bed, that he cannot see what the older waiter is trying to tell him about the nothingness of life in old age. The younger waiter is also necessary for the story because he helps us understand the depth of what the older men are feeling. The older waiter cannot express it to him regardless of how he tries. This is not simply something we read about in short stories; the old attempting to teach the young is something that happens everyday and they young generally have the same attitude as this young waiter just because he does not know any better. The story concludes in a way that also reinforces the theme of futility in that there is no answer to be found for the despair that these men experience. The older men are, in essence, alone in the world and while they can relate to one another from a distance, they will never be able to relate to the young.

Serious life issues become points of focus in Hemingway's short story, "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place," captures the loneliness, despair, and futility that the two older men feel as they attempt to cope with their old age and the fears that come along with it. By placing two people separated by the gulf of years together, Hemingway can emphasize the significance of years and how that is not always the blessing we think it might be. The young waiter has no worries and cannot wait to go home and go to bed. This is the very thing that both of the older men dread because it brings to their minds the futility of life and nothingness of it all. The old men in this story wrestle with issues that cause them fear and anxiety and, as a result, the inability to even get one good night's sleep. In a few pages, Hemingway leads us down a path that demonstrates how old age can be for some and why the old behave as they do. The theme of despair is the only truth that seems to emerge from the lines.

Works Cited

Hemingway, Ernest. "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place," Literature: The Human Experience: Reading and Writing. Eds.…[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Clean Well-Lighted Place One Of" (2009, February 14) Retrieved December 5, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/clean-well-lighted-place-one-of-24817

"Clean Well-Lighted Place One Of" 14 February 2009. Web.5 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/clean-well-lighted-place-one-of-24817>

"Clean Well-Lighted Place One Of", 14 February 2009, Accessed.5 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/clean-well-lighted-place-one-of-24817

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Clean Well Lighted Place by Ernest

    Now, without thinking further, he would go home to his room. He would lie in the bed and finally, with daylight, he would go to sleep. After all, he said to himself, it's probably only insomnia. Many must have it. This shows that the older waiter also needs a place to get himself through the night and experiences similar feelings as the old man. It is more though, than just

  • Clean Well Lighted Place Due to

    He briefly outlines the argument: at one point in the story, the older waiter says "She cut him down," referring to the old man's (a customer) niece. The disputed but of dialogue is a later line that according to convention would be attributed to the older waiter: "I know. You said she cut him down." In the one existing copy of the manuscript, this line appears to be a

  • Clean Well Lighted Place by Ernest

    When Othello marries the white Desdemona, he presses his luck, and the tide of public favor turns against him. One of his most trusted friends turns against him and convinces him that Desdemona is having an affair with another of his friends. Othello is so blinded by jealousy and rage that he cannot see how his own band of men, his own "community" has turned against him and is

  • Ernest Hemingway s A Clean Well Lighted

    Both men's appearance are said to repel the young, yet they attempt to safeguard their 'just' reputations -- Blindy even says directly that he earned his nickname in his infamous fight: "you seen me earn it" (495). Blindy says that Willie Sawyer's castrating him, although not blinding him was 'too much' during his final fight, as if bargaining with fate. Eventually, some compassionate individual steps in to defend the reputation

  • Modernism to A Clean Well Lighted

    As a result of his impotence, Jake sees Lady Brett's sexuality as threatening, rather than an expression of a feminist sensibility. Brett's independence is shown as futile, a kind of a symptom of the 'world upside down' of gender relations created by the war, but the implication by Jake (and by Hemingway) is that her strength is not fulfilling for her as a woman, and she is really looking

  • Eveline Written by James Joyce

    In the case of "Eveline" written by James Joyce, Eveline is the female character who is shown to be bound by the chains of responsibilities that she is supposed to fulfill being the only woman in the house. She needs to give up on her dreams and freedom, as she needs to take care of her household. She plans to travel and runaway with her boyfriend but her responsibilities

  • Setting and Atmosphere in a

    This works in relation to the old man's desire to stay at the cafe because it is nothing that awaits him when he goes home. In the bright cafe, the world is literally a brighter place. Hoffman notes, "Because nada appears to dominate 'A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,' it has been easy to miss the fact that the story is not about nada per se but the various available human


Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved