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A Clean WellLighted Place by Ernest Hemmingway

A Clean Well-Lighted Place, written by Ernest Hemmingway, takes place after 2am in a Spanish caf where the characters a young waiter and an older waiter work, and a deaf man is a regular customer. The title, A Clean Well-Lighted Place, refers to the caf where the story takes place. The night (or early morning) this story takes place, the young waiter is in a rush to get home to his wife. Although the caf is not closed yet, the young waiter lies to the deaf man, saying the caf is closed, and forces the deaf man to leave early. Following this incident, the older waiter protests the younger waiters actions by explaining why the old man spends so much time alone in the caf during the evenings. After his explanation, the older waiter goes on to explain that he spends his life in much the same way as the deaf man because he too is lonely. The character of the older waiter and his response to the younger waiters treatment of the deaf man as well as his account of his loneliness are major contributors to the theme: with age comes loneliness.Although the characters of the deaf man and the young waiter are important parts of the story because they are personalities the older waiter uses to tell his account of his loneliness, the character of the older waiter contributes most to the overall theme. It is the older waiter whose point of view the narrator tells the story and through the older waiters point of view his deep feelings of loneliness become apparent . While closing the caf and after the younger waiter left, the older waiter continues his conversation (in his head) with the young waiter about the deaf man in the following speech . . .he continued the conversation with himself [the older waiter] . . . What did he fear? It was not fear or dread. It was a nothing that he knew too well. It was all a nothing and a man was nothing too. It was only that and light was all it needed and a certain cleanliness and order. Some lived in it and never ...

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