They discuss the fact that he tried to commit suicide the week before, but that it could not have been over anything important because he had plenty of money.
A young waiter is angry; he wishes that the old man would leave so that he and an older waiter could close the cafe and go home. He insults the deaf old man and is painfully indifferent to the older waiter's feelings when he states that "an old man is a nasty thing.
No doubt, that's the reason why the old man tried to hang himself last week. When the old man leaves, the waiters close the cafe.
|by Ernest Hemingway||Plot synopsis[ edit ] Late at night, a deaf old man is the sole patron in a cafe.|
|SparkNotes: A Clean, Well-Lighted Place: Themes||In only a few pages, the story deals with several of the hard-hitting themes we see in many of Hemingway's works — namely, loneliness, isolation, and the futility of modern society.|
The young waiter leaves for home, and the older waiter walks to an all-night cafe where, thinking about the terrible emptiness of the old man's life which he keenly identifies with, he orders a cup of nada from the waiter. A cup of nothing.
The man who takes the order thinks that the old waiter is just another crazy old man; he brings him coffee. Finishing the coffee, the older waiter begins his trudge homeward.
Sleep is hours away. Until then, he must try to cope bravely with the dark nothingness of the night.
Analysis What happens in this story? What do the characters stand for? What is the plot? In fact, because there is no plot, Hemingway enables us to focus absolutely on the story's meaning — that is, in a world characterized by nothingness, what possible action could take place?
Likewise, that no character has a name and that there is no characterization emphasize the sterility of this world. What then is the theme of this story? Nothing, or nothingness. This is exactly what the story is about: nothingness and the steps we take against it.
When confronting a world that is meaningless, how is someone who has rejected all of the old values, someone who is now completely alone — how is that person supposed to face this barren world?
How is that person able to avoid the darkness of nada, or nothingness? The setting is a clean Spanish cafe, where two unnamed waiters — one old and one young — are discussing an old man also unnamed who comes every night, sits alone, and drinks brandy until past closing time.
The young waiter mentions that the old man tried to commit suicide last week. When the old waiter asks why the old man tried to commit suicide, the young waiter tells him that the old man was consumed by despair.
The young waiter reveals that there is absolutely no reason to commit suicide if one has money — which he's heard the old man has. For the young waiter, money solves all problems. For an old, rich man to try to commit suicide over the despair of confronting nothingness is beyond the young waiter's understanding.
However, nothingness is the reason that the old man comes to the cafe every night and drinks until he is drunk. In contrast, the old waiter knows all about despair, for he remains for some time after the lights have gone off at the clean, earlier well-lighted cafe.
The old waiter also knows fear. It was a nothing and a man was nothing too. The story emphasizes lateness — late not only in terms of the hour of the morning it's almost 3 A. Most important, however, is the emphasis on religious traditions — specifically, on the Spanish Catholic tradition, because faith in the promises of Catholicism can no longer support or console these old men.
Thus, suicide is inviting. The old man who drinks brandy at the clean, well-lighted cafe is literally deaf, just as he is metaphorically deaf to the outmoded traditions of Christianity and Christian promises: He cannot hear them any more. He is alone, he is isolated, sitting in the shadow left by nature in the modern, artificial world.
Additionally, all of the light remaining is artificial light — in this clean, "well-lighted" cafe. What is important in the story is not only the condition of nothingness in the world but the way that the old man and the old waiter feel and respond to this nothingness.
Thus, Hemingway's real subject matter is the feeling of man's condition of nothingness — and not the nothingness itself.Ernest Hemingway originally published "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" in , but the story appeared again in in Winner Take Nothing, a collection of Hemingway short kaja-net.com only a few pages, the story deals with several of the hard-hitting themes we see in many of Hemingway's works – namely, loneliness, isolation, and the futility of modern society.
"A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" is a short story by American author Ernest Hemingway, first published in Scribner's Magazine in ; it was also included in his collection Winner Take Nothing (). Plot synopsis.
Late at night, a deaf old man is the sole patron in a cafe. Author: Ernest Hemingway. The clean, well-lighted café of the story's title is its central image. This kind of café is a kind of idealized space; in it, even the loneliest, most despairing of men can find some kin The setting is key here, especially since we have very little else to go on.
The café is – as you might. Feb 08, · In the Ernest Hemingway short story A Clean, Well-Lighted Place we have the theme of loneliness, despair, escape, connection and nihilism. Taken from his The Complete Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and begins with the reader being introduced to the three main characters.
A summary of Themes in Ernest Hemingway's A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of A Clean, Well-Lighted Place and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
The old man has his dignity.
And when the young waiter says that old men are nasty, the old waiter does not deny the general truth of this statement, but he does come to the defense of the old man by pointing out that this particular old man is clean and that he likes to drink brandy in a clean, well-lighted place.