The Presence Of An Iceberg In A Clean, Well Lighted Place

2449 words - 10 pages

Presence of an iceberg in "A clean, well-lighted place
From the short story, ‘A clean, well-lighted place’, Hemingway has comprehensively used his theory of omission. The first part where this theory is used is in the definition of the characters present in the story. The old man, who is the first character, is brought out with lots of omissions regarding his details (Hemingway 1). The old man is only described as old and deaf. In addition, it is stated that he enjoyed coming out at night when it was quieter and could drink until the waiters became restless and ordered him out.
By looking at the old man, the reader can easily come up with many conclusions and symbolic interpretations. Firstly, the old age is a symbolic representation of all the aged persons, who appear discontented with their age. These individuals are more reserved and withdrawn from the rest of the society. The writer therefore omits the detailed explanations of the problems associated with advanced age and hence leaves the reader to make deductions. This means that he had the knowledge of these issues but failed to incorporate them into the story in order to make the reader understand better and develop a broader insight into the problem.
By illustrating the manner in which the old man regarded alcohol, it illustrates their solace and need for companionship. The alcohol served as the old man’s companion and he wished to spend the night drinking without thinking about any other thing. As the story develops, the waiters start a conversation that expands the details on the old man. This man lived and survived under the sole care of his niece (Hemingway 1). To begin with, the writer fails to include the children and wife of the old man in order to help develop the aspects of solitude and loneliness, especially among the aged.
The lack of close family members like children and a wife helps to make the reader understand the real issues at home. The old man was therefore psychologically affected by the loneliness at home. Despite the wealth that is later highlighted by the waiters in their conversations, the old man cannot seem to find solace and hence the reason for frequent visit to the café. His quest is peace and company. This therefore explains why the writer takes the old man to a café, rather than to a bar.
While alcohol is sold in all these places, the writer brings the old man to a café, due to its cleanliness, good arrangement and light. This illustrates that the old man opts for the café due to its calm nature, compared to the bars, which are noisy, violent, and disorderly (Morris and Owens 4). The ruthlessness associated with the bars makes it an unsuitable place for the old man and he thus opts to drink in the café.
By omitting his hearing capability, the writer develops the concept of loneliness further. The old man cannot even get to hear from the community. He was therefore alienated from many realities and the world was far away from him. Through this, the...

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