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A Clean, Well-Lighted Place Research Papers

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place research paper from Paper Masters provides an explication of Ernest Hemingway's short story that concentrates on the desperation of growing old alone and the fight to survive each day with dignity. When you order a research paper, you will most likely learn that Ernest Hemingway uses the symbolism of light and dark, the contrast of the elderly and youth, and the separation of deafness to convey the theme of disparate emptiness that is realized when the fruits of one's labor give no peace. The result of this devastation is the realization that life means "nada" and man only has his dignity to cling to in his final days.

Symbolism in A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

Hemingway uses powerful symbolism in A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. However, this symbolism does not stray far from the literal, as Hemingway blatantly depicts the pain of growing old and searching for dignity.

  • Finding a clean, well-lighted place to have a drink at night and pass the lonely hours away was Hemingway's way of illustrating peace in old age, a time that he feared and saw as dark shadow.
  • Illustrating this very point was the old man in the story who sat "in the shadow of the leaves of the tree that moved slightly in the wind".

Dignity in A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

Dignity was something that came natural to the haughtiness of youth, not to the old man marred by time. The old man of the story struggled to find a place that he could spend his time in that left him with his dignity. After the café closed, he was force to the bodegas, which were open all night. However, he rebuked "Nor can you stand before a bar with dignity although that is all that is provided for at this hour". The café is a symbol of hope to the old man and he valued it, as illustrated in how he presented himself in the café. The older waiter points out, "This old man is clean. He drinks without spilling. Even now, drunk". Not even the younger waiter can poise himself as well as the older, drunk man for he spills the brandy he pours to the old man.

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