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A Clean, Well Lighted Place Essay

866 words - 4 pages

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place by Ernest Hemingway published in 1926 is a great short story about life and how it is frustrating no matter how successfully you are. In this short story we see in many of Hemingway’s works like loneliness, isolation, and emptiness of modern society. Hemingway talks about a depressing view of the world, suggesting that even people who are young, happy, and satisfied will someday end up lonely, drunk, or dissatisfied.
The story starts off with two waiters waiting to close their cafe for the night. They only have one customer left an old man who is deaf and drunk. He’s their regular customer and the waiters know a lot about him including his suicide attempt that was stopped by the old mans niece. A soldier walks by with a young woman. The waiter are wondering if the soldier will pick up the old man but then they realize it doesn’t matter as long as the soldier gets what he wants from the women. The old man wants another drink so he asks the waiter to bring him another glass of whiskey. The younger waiter pours another glass, while he’s serving the old man his whiskey he suspiciously commenting that the old man should have killed himself. The older and younger waiter get into an argument on old age and how the young waiter thinks it’s a bad thing, and older waiter thinks its not as bad as it seems. The older waiter bring up a point that even though the old man is drunk he is still clean and proper, even when he’s drunk. The older man yet asks for another drink but the young waiter in hurry denies the old man because he just wants to close the cafe and go home to his wife. The old man pays and leaves the cafe drunk but with respect and orderly. After the old man has left the two waiters are still arguing about the old man and how people like him need cafe to stay open for them. The older waiter realizes that sometimes people might need to go in a clean, well-lighted place, rather than a dark, bar. The younger waiter heads home in a hurry to his wife, the older waiter takes his time at the cafe, continuing their argument about the old man in his mind. The older waiter realizes that life is meaningless and how we all need some clean and quite place to sit...

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