Composition II S01
17 October 2013
Literary Analysis of “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”
Ernest Hemingway’s “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” consists of three main characters in a seemingly comfortable setting. An old man, who is deaf, sits alone in the shadow of a tree. He likes to drink at the café, sometimes getting drunk. This character is the subject of conversation for almost the entire story, so the most information is given about him. Once married, he now sits alone drinking bourbon. This man has a substantial amount of money, but there is a rumor that he tried to kill himself. The second main character is the young waiter. He is portrayed as an impatient person trying to leave the café as quickly as possible. He has a wife waiting for him back at home. This young waiter serves the old man hastily, and is irritated that he is being kept so late. The last main character is the older waiter. He is a man who can relate to the older gentleman staying so late in the café. Later in the story this character stays late at a bar as well. Feeling the café as a refuge, he tries not to go home. He tells himself that he has insomnia, but this is just a cover for being lonely like the older man.
Ironically, I related mostly to the young waiter. I feel that most people would not. I suppose in my work experience, I have had a few of these customers. Coming off as brash and insensitive, this young waiter seems to not look past himself. Multiple times he states that he is eager to get back to his wife. This means that the character is the odd one out in this story, being that the older waiter and old man are lonely. This young waiter does say very rude things about the old man, and is very immature. He portrays a passive attitude toward all others. “He should just kill himself” is one example of his narrow mindedness. The young man doesn't understand that he is blessed with his life, having love and a long life ahead of him. The older waiter tries to...