Hemingway Analysis: A Clean Well Lighted Place

Explicate
one of the stories we have read. Break the story down by analyzing it part
by part. Look at how the plot and symbols express the central theme or themes
of the story.

"A Clean, Well-Lighted Place"

This story was written by
Hemingway in 1933. It details an evening\'s interaction between two waiters,
and their differing perspectives of life. Hemingway uses an old man as a patron
to demonstrate the waiter\'s philosophies. Hemingway is also visible in the
story as the old man, someone who society says should be content, but has a
significant empty feeling inside. What follows is a line-by-line analysis,
putting emphasis on the philosophies of the waiters.

This story focuses
on two waiters at a cafe in Madrid, and their differing outlooks upon life.
Their views are shown as they talk about an old man in the cafe, and each
contemplate their life.

The old man, who may be a reflection of Hemingway\'s
anticipated aging, enjoys drinking in the cafe late at night. This may be
a reflection of Hemingway\'s own writing in cafes in Paris. The old man prefers
drinking late at night when the atmosphere is much more settled. The waiters
kept a careful eye on the old man, as he has been known to leave without paying
after too many drinks.

As the two waiters monitor the old man, they younger
waiter mentions that the old man tried to kill himself in the previous week.
The older waiter asks why, and the younger tells him that he had no reason
to kill himself because he had "plenty of money." The older waiter lets the
conversation drop after he hears this, because this statement shows the younger
waiter\'s perspective.

The older waiter seems to have empathy for the older
patron, where the younger waiter has ill feelings to the customer. The older
waiter seems to be more aware of a larger sense of existence where everyone
plays their role, and the younger waiter seems to believe that he has to simply
look out for \'number one\' and really couldn\'t be bothered to go out of his
way for the old man. The younger waiter quickly argued that the old man\'s
justification for living should have been his money, and it is interesting
to note that the younger waiter considers nothing else in his evaluation of
the attempted suicide.

As the two waiters sit at a table, a soldier walks
by with a prostitute. The older waiter comments that they\'ll get stopped by
the local guard, and the younger waiter replies "What does it matter if he
gets what he\'s after?" Again, this shows the older waiter\'s awareness, and
the careless attitude of the younger waiter.

The old man signals the younger
waiter over for another drink, and the waiter declines to server him because
he feels that the man is getting drunk and doesn\'t want to get stuck waiting
for him to finish. The younger waiter then comments that the old man should
have killed himself last week, and how the waiter is tired and simply wants
to get to bed at a reasonable hour.

The older waiter, empathizing with
the old man, grabs the bottle of brandy and pours a full glass for the old
man. This, again, reflects the respect that the older waiter has for the old
man. This is the first real hint that the older waiter has a lot in common
with the old man.

As the older waiter takes his seat at the table with
the younger waiter, the younger waiter comments about the old man\'s drunkenness
every night. The old man asks the younger why the old man would want to kill
himself. The younger waiter replies that he doesn\'t know why. They discuss
the incident, and the younger waiter asks who cut the rope that the man was
hanging from. The older replies that it was his niece, and explains that she
probably did it our of fear for his soul.

The younger waiter questions
the older about how much money the old man has, showing his assessment of what
matters in life. The young waiter also expresses his desire for the old man
to leave, saying how he wants to get home to go to bed. This shows the younger
waiter\'s self-centered approach. He says that he\'s got a wife waiting for him,
that old men are nasty, and that he old man has no respect for those that
must work. This lets the reader see that the younger man\'s