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: 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.
The entire building is empty. She just wants to be safe. He muses on youth and observes that he is now one "of those who like to stay late in the cafe," likening himself to the old man.
He is not just literally deaf, but deaf to the world. Hotchner 's biography Papa Hemingway, Hemingway is quoted saying that this might be his favourite story.
However, the author shows a way to escape the pain of "nada. 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 older waiter understands this. They are trying to escape the wreck of nada, the nothingness that comes with existential depression.
The old waiter knows what it is like to have to go home in the dark; he himself will not go home to sleep until daybreak — when he will not have to fall asleep in the nothingness of darkness.
He "liked to sit late because he was deaf and now at night it was quiet and he felt the difference" The old man's essential loneliness is less intolerable in light, where there is dignity.
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? The younger waiter agrees.
In order to hold nothingness, darkness, nada at bay, we must have light, cleanliness, order or disciplineand dignity. 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.
Retrieved November 27, They wish each other good night. If everything else has failed, man must have something to resort to or else the only option is suicide — and that is the ultimate end of everything: The author's diction gradually brings the readers to a higher level of understanding the reality of life.
The symbol of an empty, meaningless life, emotional darkness, surrounds the old man and the older waiter. When the old man orders another brandy, the young waiter purposefully overfills his glass. He sees that, instead of being tragic and gross, the old drunk is actually admirable because he remains dignified in the face of meaninglessness and the difficulties of old age.1 A Clean, Well-Lighted Place () / Ernest Hemingway It was very late and everyone had left the café except an old man who sat in the shadow the leaves of the tree made against the electric light.
Sep 22, · "A Clean Well-Lighted Place" by Ernest Hemingway. Produced by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Video Department and Rita and Robert Morton; director, Allan Siegel.
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. "A Clean Well-Lighted Place" is an existential masterpiece.
I read it in whe I was eighteen years old and taking a freshman course in Engllish composition. The instructor was a bright and learned guy and a good man, but he was so thoroughly imbued with a cheerful Christian outlook that he seemed unable to acknowledge suffering and /5(8).
"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 (). "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" is a short story by Ernest Hemingway that was first published inDownload