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Ernest Hemmingways's A Clean, Well Lighted Place Is About Life's Transitions

777 words - 4 pages

Ernest Hemingway’s “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” is about life’s transitions. The story is about an old man, an old waiter and a young waiter. The old man is deaf, has money and a family, attempted to commit suicide, and goes to the café to drink every night. The old waiter is sympathetic towards the old man and does not have anybody waiting for him at home. The young waiter is confident and married, is self-centered and is not compassionate towards older people. The story takes place in a café near a military base. There is an old man drinking alone at the café in the early hours of the morning. There are two waiters, a young one and an old one. The young waiter wants to close the café early and go home to his wife while the old water is willing to keep the café open. Because the young waiter wants to leave work early he tells the old man to stop drinking and leave; the old man leaves and both of the waiters close the cafe. The young waiter goes home to his wife while the older waiter goes to a local bar for a cup of coffee. While at the bar, the old waiter contemplates the meaning of life and his role in life.
Ernest Hemingway uses repetition to reinforce the setting and to show how hopeless the older waiter is. The author uses repetition when mentioning that the old man sat “in the shadow” of the leaves of the tree that moved slightly in the wind. Hemingway is telling his readers that the old man sits in the shadows because it is peaceful for him and he feels safe there. The old man prefers to sit in the shadow because there is not a lot of stimulation. The old waiter talks about the café being clean and well lit, he thinks of the café as being constant. The author uses repetition to show how hopeless the old waiter is when he is saying the Lord’s Prayer and Hail Mary. The old waiter disregards God and heaven and uses the word “nada” in place of them because he thinks nothing of them and because they do not give him comfort. Hemingway’s choice of the café as the setting shows...

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