The Importance of Elements:Ernest Hemingway's "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place."

Essay by alwaysessenceA+, October 2005

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Ernest Hemingway's short story "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" is one about loneliness and half way searches for friendship/ companionship. The author uses "the clean, well-lighted place" as a place of belongingness and acceptance in a world of loneliness, darkness, and cruelty. In this story, the characters, setting, and tone of the story all work together to express its theme of the continual search for the purpose of life.

The characters in the story seem quite different from each other, in the beginning, but as the story continues, you can begin to see them in one another. In the beginning of the story, we meet two waiters and an old, deaf man. The younger of the two waiters is a very impatient and hurried man. He doesn't want to stay at the café any longer than he has to because he wants to get home to his wife. He sees the café as just a place of work and nothing more.

The older of the two waiters is a calm and unhurried man. He doesn't mind being at the café past hours and doesn't mind other people being there either. He sees the café as an important part of his life, if not his whole life, and it is more than just a place of work. "I am of those who like to stay late at the café. With all those who do not want to go to bed. With all those who need a light for the night"

Jackson 2

(177). The old, deaf man is indirectly described as a "drunk" and an "alcoholic". He is a very solitary soul who, outwardly, seems content with that. The old, deaf man and the older waiter are really very similar. They both like to drink around other people to keep...