A Clean, Well Lighted Place Essay

1073 words - 4 pages

Ernest Hemingway developed his own style of writing and follows it in “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”. Hemingway’s elegance in writing is such that he indirectly gives all of the information to the reader without making any judgment; thus allowing one to create an opinion about every minute detail of the story. Hemingway illustrates his foundations of writing in “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” by providing small clues that provide an indirect view of the larger meaning.
Hemingway illustrates one of his elements of writing, omission, by providing two waiters and their exchange of speech and actions with each other and their customer, the old man. By doing so, he provides all of the information for readers to create an assumption about the individual’s traits; the saintly and even wicked. In the story we are given a scene with the old drunken man and the younger waiter. The old man asks for another brandy while pointing to his empty glass. The younger of the two waiters brashly began his dialogue with “Finished,” he said, speaking with that omission of syntax stupid people employ when talking to drunken people or foreigners. “No more tonight. Close now.” “Another,” said the old man. “No. Finished.” The waiter wiped the edge of the table with a towel and shook his head. The old man stands to leave, counts his tab, pays for his brandy, even leaves a tip for the waiters, and then begins to walk away with dignity even for his drunken stupor. (153-154) In this passage the reader is provided with several concepts that help to create the depictions of the old man and the younger waiter. Foremost, the reader is struck with the incivility of the old man; but, before he leaves the café one is forced to become a sympathizer for the fact that the old man has this loneliness about him. Also, because of his civility in being able to pay for his bill and walk away with his dignity still on his person. Lastly, the younger waiter gets painted as the evildoer, he his impatient and very uncouth in his dealings with an old soul. Hemingway of course does this without stating any of this to the reader, he depends upon one to be of enough intellect to infer all of this from his writing and still follow this story line.
Hemingway illustrates another of his elements, the objective correlative, by giving the qualities of “a clean, well-lighted place”. He does so in another dialogue between the two waiters in which the older waiter is trying to explain that everyone needs a place to feel secure to the younger waiter. “I am of those who like to stay late at the café,” the older waiter said. “With all those who do not want to go to bed. With all those who need a light for the night.” The younger waiter states “I want to go home and into bed.” “We are of two different kinds,” the older waiter said. He was not dressed to go home. “It is not only a question of youth and confidence although those things are very beautiful. Each night...

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