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| A Clean, Well-Lighted Place-Ernest Hemingway Essay

The centre of attraction with regard to the story “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” is in the sting of old age experienced by a gentleman that one meets up in a cafe one night. Earnest differentiates dark and light to demonstrate the disparity between this gentleman and the youthful people about him, and deafness is used as an illustration if his severance from the society. At the ending of the narrative, Earnest shows us the hopeless barrenness of a life nearly ended without the produce of its toil, and the frustration of the old gentleman’s restless mind without peace. Throughout the story bare images of helplessness show the old gentleman’s life at a position when he has come to awareness of the uselessness of living and gets himself as the lonely item of ridicule (J.Benson).

A Hopeless Barrenness of a Life in “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”

The most palpable image used by Elnest in this narration is the disparity flanked by light and darkness. The cafe is shown as a “Clean, Well-Lighted Place”. The cafe is a safe haven from the gloominess of the outer night. Darkness is a representation of fear and isolation. On the other hand, light signifies reassurance and the companionship of other people. There is despair in the darkness, while the light composes the nerves. Sadly for the old gentle man, this light is artificial, and its tranquility is both incomplete and temporary.

Perhaps the old gentleman hides in the dimness of the leaves as he recognizes the inadequacy of his retreat. Maybe he is drawn towards the shadows so as the shadows of his age may not be as evident as in the full vigor of the stimulating light. His own body is gloomy with the consequences of poor health. Even his ears convey him a kind of dimness as they grasp out the sound of the humanity (Hemingway).

The old gentleman’s deafness is also another dominant icon used in the narrative. The old gentleman preferred to sit until late into the night the reason being that was hard of hearing and now at nighttime it was calm and he could thus feel the dissimilarity. Deafness locks out the old gentleman out from the world. In the daytime, everything was a flash back of his disentanglement from the rest of the world. The marketplace, busy streets, the babble on the cafes down the motor vehicles, including the avenues and the animals plug the town with loud noise all day. The old man is aware of this and is also aware that he is totally disconnected from the noises that he perhaps had not consideration much about as a youngster.

In this cafe late at dusk he is not omitted much. In actual fact, he might choose to miss the dialogue about him by the two waiters. At the time the younger attendant is sickened by the old gentleman. He says, “I wouldn’t want to be that old. An old man is a nasty thing.” Maybe the same statement may have been echoed by the elderly man during his youth. One might even assume that the elderly man preferred to be deaf instead of facing the cruelty of caducity and listen to the words of derision told by his juniors. An added instrument used by Elnest in this narrative is the icon of emptiness. Emptiness is what the elderly man wants to flee from. The older attendant, who from time to time acts as the representative of the elderly gentleman’s soul, understands his challenges (J.Benson).

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The emptiness is a persistent monotony, constant by joy or sorrow. It is unending nothingness without comfort or friendship of God or man. It is the irrationality of every heart-beat that just like the last refuses to concede to death. The elderly man’s loneliness is bare. His days of departure without constructive work or rationale are empty. The bareness of a life short of progress or meaning is emptiness, and this emptiness afflicts the elderly man with a commanding grip. The only run away from this emptiness is blissful coma, permanent only at death.

The elderly gentle man’s death-wish is additionally played out all the way through the metaphor of restlessness, an ailment he apparently shares with the elder waiter. The insomnia keeps both awake throughout the hours of the night, just as a stubborn life keeps the elderly man living when he would prefer to take a break in his grave. The second paragraph in the narrative shows the older waiter informing the younger one that their aged |er had tried committing suicide the previous week. The elderly man is full of despair due to his solitude, the dimness of his life, segregation from the humanity, and the emptiness that permeates his life. He needs rest, but it is withdrawn from him. When he tries taking his own being, his niece cut him from his noose. Tranquility is distant from this chap, and what a small reprieve he may unearth is curtailed like the fake brightness of the cafe. The old man tries to drowning himself in whiskey, which also fails to deliver him rest. The only left hope is that, as intoxicated as the chap is, he possibly will pass out on arriving home.

This story is full of images of hopelessness. The disparities between age and adolescence, dark and light are cruel and well districted. The reader finishes the narrative with a sentiment that there is little room for escape from the melancholy of the winter days of life. Maybe it is Elnest’s own dread of old age and frailty that he is communicating to the reader (Hemingway).

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