A Clean Well-Lighted Place Theme

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“A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” is an anomaly. Its size, as well as Hemingway’s unique writing style, sets it apart from most short stories. Hemingway uses simple language in an extremely short, uneventful story to convey deep, profound themes, which are prevalent in almost everyone’s life. He does not embellish or add any grandiose sentiments, as many writers do; he simply presents the story as it is. There are three main characters, all unnamed, who create the majority of the story purely with dialogue. Hemingway himself does not insert his own observations, opinions, or commentary. At first glance, “A Clean Well-Lighted Place” is nothing special. However, it is weaved with three primary hidden themes - the nothingness of life, mortality, and unhappiness. The nothingness of life is the most obvious theme in this story. It is clearly conveyed by the old waiter in the story who says, “It was all a nothing and man was a nothing too.” (Hemingway). By this he is trying to illustrate how meaningless everything in life truly is. It is a difficult concept to …show more content…
It shows how humans deal with unhappiness in different ways. Both the middle aged and old man struggle with deep pain and rather than cure it, they just briefly suppress it with distractions such as alcohol. He had a wife whom he lost, which is most likely the cause of his loneliness. The old man earned plenty of money, probably in an effort to cure his despair, but, despite his wealth, he still tried to commit suicide. Alternatively, the middle-aged man probably tried to turn to religion for comfort. However, this must have failed, hence why he mocked the Lord’s Prayer. He notices the difference between him and the young man, which you can see when he says “"You have youth, confidence, and a job. You have everything." The younger waiter asked, "And what do you lack?" He replied, "Everything but work." The younger man

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