a clean well lighted place

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Analysis on A Clean Well Lighted Place by Ernest Hemingway


A Clean Well Lighted Place

A Clean Well Lighted PlaceBy: Ernest Hemingway

Barsallo, Ana Melisa 2015. 4. 2Ernest HemingwayBorn on July 21st 1899 in Cicero Illinois. Started his career as a writer in a newspaper office in Kansas at the age of 17.Served in World War I and after being wounded started working in journalism again.

During World War II he served as a correspondent and was present at several of the war's key moments.In 1954, he won the Nobel Prize of Literature.Recovering from old injuries in Cuba, he suffered from depression.July 2nd 1951, he committed suicide in his Ketchum home.Acclaimed WorkThe Sun Also Rises (1926)Men Without Women (1927)A Farewell to Arms (1929)For Whom The Bell Tolls (1940)The Old Man and the Sea (1952)

Plot Overview (1)An old man sits alone at night in a caf. He is deaf and likes when the night grows still. Two waiters watch the old man carefully because they know he wont pay if he gets too drunk.The old man taps his glass against its saucer and asks the younger waiter for a brandy. As he pours it, he tells the old man that he should have killed himself, but the old man just indicates that he wants more brandy in the glass.The younger waiter says he wishes the old man would leave so that he can go home and go to bed with his wife.

Plot Overview (2)The old man indicates that he wants another brandy, but the younger waiter tells him theyre closing. The old man pays and walks away. The older waiter says that he likes to stay at cafs very late with the others who are reluctant to go home and who need light during the nighttime.The younger waiter says there are bars to go to, but the older waiter says that the caf is clean and well lit.

The Older WaiterHe is lonely. He lives alone and makes a habit of staying out late rather than going home to bed. There is more to the older waiters insomnia, as he calls it, than just loneliness. An unnamed, unspecified malaise seems to grip him. This malaise is not a fear or dread, as the older waiter clarifies to himself, but an overwhelming feeling of nothingnessan existential angst about his place in the universe and an uncertainty about the meaning of life. Whereas other people find meaning and comfort in religion, the older waiter dismisses religion as nadanothing. The older waiter finds solace only in clean, well-lit cafs. There, life seems to make sense.

The Younger WaiterBrash and insensitive, the younger waiter cant see beyond himself. He readily admits that he isnt lonely and is eager to return home where his wife is waiting for him. He doesnt seem to care that others cant say the same and doesnt recognize that the caf is a refuge for those who are lonely.He seems unaware that he wont be young forever or that he may need a place to find solace later in life too. The younger waiter, immersed in happiness, doesnt really understand that he is lucky, and he therefore has little compassion or understanding for those who are lonely and still searching for meaning in their lives.

Nadafrom Latin (res) nata "small, insignificant thing" Life as NothingnessLife has no meaning and man is an insignificant speck in a great sea of nothingness.It was all a nothing and man was a nothing too.

Life as Nothingness Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Our nada, who art in nada, nada be thy name thy kingdom nada thy will be nada in nada as it is in nada. Give us this nada our daily nada and nada us our nada as we nada our nadas and nada us not into nada but deliver us from nada; pues nada.

He indicates that religion, to which many people turn to find meaning and purpose, is also just nothingness. Rather than pray with the actual words, Our Father who art in heaven, the older waiter says, Our nada who art in nadaeffectively wiping out both God and the idea of heaven in one breath

The Struggle to Deal with DespairThe older waiters solution is the same as the old mans: he waits out the nighttime in cafs. He is particular about the type of caf he likes: the caf must be well lit and clean. Bars and bodegas, although many are open all night, do not lessen despair because they are not clean, and patrons often must stand at the bar rather than sit at a table.

The CafThe caf represents the opposite of nothingness: its cleanliness and good lighting suggest order and clarity, whereas nothingness is chaotic, confusing, and dark.Natural refuge from the despair felt by those who are acutely aware of the nothingness.It was only that and light was all it needed and a certain cleanness and order.

Whats your clean lighted place?


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