A Clean, Well Lighted Place By Ernest Hemingway Essay

1347 Words Dec 9th, 2016 6 Pages
Ernest Hemingway is one of the most revered and studied American authors, famous the world over for his extensive bibliography of short stories and novels. However, Hemingway was a deeply troubled man, and many of his works are monuments to his struggles with depression. “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” is an ideal example of Hemingway’s nihilistic view of the world: it appears to be a mirror into his very soul. The theme of “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” is decidedly nihilistic: life, human ideas of God and faith, and earthly possession are all ultimately of equally nonexistent value. This rather dark theme permeates the entire story, and is reinforced through the clever use of literary devices throughout. A plethora of devices such as style, tone, characters, symbolism, and repetition are used throughout the story by Hemingway to convey his seemingly mournful message to the reader, and ultimately allow us a glimpse into the world of despair in which he found himself.
Style is the subtlest of the devices through which Hemingway helps to convey the theme. Hemingway is renowned for his conservative writing style, and it is used to great effect in this story. This simple style of writing is intentional, to allow the deeper aspects of the story to be better fleshed out through meaning rather than by the intricacy of the vocabulary used. Hemingway’s reluctance to use convoluted language has been described as a “sparse, tight economy of words”, and it works excellently to convey the…

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