Free Essay

Age and Its Effects in a Clean, Well-Lighted Place

In: English and Literature

Submitted By kmavi95
Words 1228
Pages 5
Age and its Effects
Ernest Hemingway’s “A Clean, Well-lighted Place” deals with the correlation between youth and age. Throughout the story, the symbolism and characterization prove that it’s not out of the ordinary to feel isolated and lonely with age. This is shown through the book by examining the two older men and the young waiter. The older men are represented as lonely, isolated humans; they feel no purpose in their lives. The two older characters share a sense of despair and it makes perfect sense for them to pursue a life in a direction where there is a clean well-lighted place. That clean well-lit place may be exactly what the two men need to have a meaning in their life. The younger waiter is a tad bit different in the sense that he is excited and impatient to move on with his life. The waiter being ready to move on shows no sympathy for the old man. Since the mindsets of the two characters are completely opposite, the waiter doesn’t respect the old man because he doesn’t understand his point of view. The only one who somewhat understands the old man is the older waiter. He provides the same mindset as the old man and can sympathize with him since he understands what his mind is going through. It is evident that the older men have a different approach to appreciating and comprehending the importance of life. Hemingway incorporates symbolism of the light and darkness to help understand the life of the characters in the story. The well-lit café has a deep value and meaning to the older men compared to the younger waiter. The café provides a comforting, stable environment where people who are feeling lost can feel a sense of dignity. The darkness represents a series of feelings such as loneliness, scariness, and intimidation of death. As Hemingway portrays, the well-being of humans changes as they progress through life and age and so does their appreciation of the world. He implements this with his use of symbolism and characterization. Hemingway makes the young waiter seem to be a conceded, impatient individual. He feels he is ready to move on to bigger and better things in life, but rarely thinks about anyone but himself. His vision and way of life is much different than the older waiter and the old man. Money is important to the young waiter and that causes him to be blinded about bigger aspects of life. ‘Last week he tried to commit suicide,’ one waiter announced. ‘Why?’ ‘He was in despair.’ “What about?” “Nothing.” “How do you know it was nothing?” “He has plenty of money”(111). When the discussion of suicide came about, the young waiter exclaims that the older man has money so there shouldn’t be any reason to have thoughts on suicide. The young waiter is very naive in that money doesn’t create happiness. He feels he’s superior since he is confident in himself. So far in his life, he has yet to be disappointed and has many years ahead of him to endure. The young waiter has no empathy for the old man and exclaims how he would hate being old because it is a nasty thing: “You should have killed yourself last week” (111). The older waiter, on the other hand, can sympathize with the old man. He also feels himself as worthless and lonely since he hasn’t accomplished anything significant in his life. Hence the two older men could relate to one another. Unlike the young waiter, the older waiter isn’t conceded and notices all aspects of life and how it can affect one’s day-to-day life. As the older waiter ages, it effects him negatively, but not in the same way as it did for the old man. His life for the most part wasn’t successful. He was neither married nor rich. Not being able to find a significant other or have the amount of income that will sustain his perfect lifestyle has affected him tremendously. As stated in the literary article, Colburn believes the same reciting, “Since the old waiter by reciting his Hail Mary with the word nada in it shows his fear that there is no organization that will save his soul…”(Colburn 241). It’s evident that the older waiter has no guided path that is going to lead him to where he wants to be. As the story continues, the older waiter wants to save his soul but isn’t sure how too. Although he isn’t happy, he still feels he isn’t ready to face death in the eyes. Hoping for better days, he continues to work at the café because at the moment he felt that was his purpose in life. When asked what he feels he is lacking in life he replies, “Everything but work” (Hemingway 112). It’s clear the mature waiter has many problems he’s facing as he ages, but rather than give up, he continues his lifestyle in hopes that something will change for him. With fearing death, the older waiter only sleeps during daylight. He believes the darkness is associated with death so it makes sense for him to stay up nights and find time to sleep during the day. Hemingway characterizes the older man to be a depressed drunk. Even though most people who are a drunken mess tend to be anti-hygienic, Hemingway makes sure to make the old man appear clean and positive while being drunk. It’s assured through the story that as the old man ages, it has a negative effect on him. His wife dies resulting in his grief, and no amount money in the world can change that. Regardless of the old man’s accomplishments, he has no more will power left in him to continue his life long journey. It’s not surprising as the old man attempts to commit suicide. The well-lit café’s warming and inviting environment provides the old man a place where he can feel comforted. He can go to the café, get drunk, forget to pay his dues, and still feel welcomed back anytime. The waiters that work while the old man came in know that if he was too drunk he tends to leave without playing. With that said, they always keep an eye on him. Hemingway does a great job of producing a concrete theme in “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”. The theme of different ages and mindsets emerges throughout the story. All three main characters are in different age groups. Hemingway powerfully uses the characters to exploit the emotions and perspectives that went go with aging. He emphasizes that one’s life can have a long-lasting effect on their well-being and state of mind. Reiterating the fact that it isn’t wrong to feel lonely and defenseless as aging occurs, Hemingway makes it clear how different age demographics can shape an individual’s views. Thus, the older waiter and the old man have different views than the younger waiter. Hemingway does a great job showing that age has a great emphasis on human well-being.

Works Cited
Colburn, William E. "Confusion in "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place"" College English 20.5 (1959): 241-42. JSTOR. Web. 25 Feb. 2015. Lansing Community. Hemingway. “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” Writing about Literature and Ideas. S.l.: Kendall Hunt, 2012. Print.…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

...Jorge Tapia ENC 1102 Prof. Dawn 11/06/12 A Clean, Well-Lighted Place By Ernest Hemingway Does one's purpose in life diminish after there is nothing left in life to look forward to? Ernest Hemingway's short story "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" addresses this question through the character of the older waiter, a man pondering the meaning of life. The older waiter observes the old man and comes to the conclusion that without a motivation to live, one wanders in a world of nothingness. I am going to discuss the analysis of the major characters in the story “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.” First of all, there are three main characters: The older waiter, the younger waiter, and the old man. I believe Hemingway is attempting to make the characters show different ideas in which he conveys different personalities in the characters. Furthermore each character represents the ideas that Hemingway had about the youth, mid-age, and the old. The first main character in the short story is the young waiter; seems like a cocky and uncaring man he cheerfully admits that he isn’t lonely and is anxious to return home where his wife is. He doesn’t care that the people in the café use it as a refuge for those who feel alone. The young waiter is rude to the old man because he wants to close the café early. He doesn’t seem to realize that he won’t be young forever. In addition to the story the young waiter represents the youth that is at conflict with the older generations. The young......

Words: 626 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

A Clean Well Lighted Place

...learn what happened to his wife. He drinks alone late into the night, getting drunk in cafés. The older waiter, too, is lonely. He lives alone and makes a habit of staying out late rather than going home to bed. But there is more to the older waiter’s “insomnia,” as he calls it, than just loneliness. An unnamed, unspecified malaise seems to grip him. This malaise is not “a fear or dread,” as the older waiter clarifies to himself, but an overwhelming feeling of nothingness—an existential angst about his place in the universe and an uncertainty about the meaning of life. Whereas other people find meaning and comfort in religion, the older waiter dismisses religion as “nada”—nothing. The older waiter finds solace only in clean, well-lit cafés. There, life seems to make sense. The older waiter recognizes himself in the old man and sees his own future. He stands up for the old man against the younger waiter’s criticisms, pointing out that the old man might benefit from a wife and is clean and neat when he drinks. The older waiter has no real reason to take the old man’s side. In fact, the old man sometimes leaves the café without paying. But the possible reason for his support becomes clear when the younger waiter tells the older waiter that he talks like an old man too. The older waiter is aware that he is not young or confident, and he knows that he may one day be just like the old man—unwanted, alone, and in despair. Ultimately, the older waiter is reluctant to close the café......

Words: 602 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

A Clean Well-Lighted Place

...In “A Clean and Well-Lighted Place” there isn’t much of a story. There isn’t a looming conflict that requires the attention of its characters, there’s really not even a protagonist and an antagonist, there’s just nothingness and how its characters relate to it. There are a mere three real characters in the entire story, the younger waiter, the older waiter, and an old man. The younger waiter and older waiter, and how they relate to that nothingness is the main theme of the story, with the old man being the subject of their conversations. While the younger waiter attacks the old man in his talk with the older waiter, the older waiter doesn’t attack the old man, instead he defends him, because he can sympathize with him. The older waiter knows loneliness and despair, which is what separates these two characters. The story opens with the two waiters speaking to one another about an old man who’s drinking brandy at the cafe which they work. It’s learned through the waiters’ conversation that the old man attempted to commit suicide by hanging himself but his niece cut him down. It’s said that she cut him down for “fear for his soul.” It was as though they don’t even care about his current life, but his life after death. The younger waiter cannot comprehend the reason for suicide when you have money, like the old man does. To the young waiter, money can and will solve all problems. The young waiter is incapable of comprehending the idea of committing suicide over the......

Words: 991 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Latin and Its Effects in the Middle Ages

...How Latin Effected the Medieval times Lisa J. Schneider AIU Online Abstract Latin had a great effect on the world as it is today, but it all started around the twelfth century. Latin was a language that was used among people that were educated and throughout literature. It was the language used around the time of the Roman Empire, but started to fade after the Empire fell in 1200 A.D. How Latin Effected the Medieval times After the fall of the Roman Empire in 1200 A.D. the Latin language began to fade, and most of the other countries at this time went back to their vernacular language. At this time only the educated people and people throughout literature used this language. However soon after the fall of the Roman Empire the Latin language faded away slowly. Because of the fall of the Roman Empire along with the fade of the Latin Language, vernacular language became its replacement. French After Latin faded away as a language because of the Roman Empire falling, France became the first country to take on the vernacular language and roughly around the fourteenth century, vernacular works spread throughout Europe. The changes that arose presented an important change in the interest of courtly literature. This gave people a greater freedom of expression. This is seen in the poems of troubadours about courtly love. Christianity Christianity was easily spread using vernacular language, as the bible was already translated into the vernacular language in......

Words: 549 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Place You Know Well

...During my time as a child, I remember visiting so many places with my family throughout Southern California. One of the best memories was when I visited Lake Arrowhead. Located in the beautiful mountains of San Bernardino, Lake Arrowhead is a tiny city where every family would enjoy living in. Not only is Lake Arrowhead Village a great place to live but great place to enjoy nature’s beauty at any time of the day. I remember Lake Arrowhead for its beautiful scenery, it is family-oriented, and it has many outdoor activities. While visiting Lake Arrowhead in the winter time, I fell head over heels with the beautiful scenery that nature brought upon my eyes. As I arrived to the house in the evening, I looked up and I was able to see the stars that lit up the sky above me. As I walk down to the lake, I was able to hear the crickets’ chirping and the owls hooting as they hear the crackling of the snow that I’m stepping upon. As I look through the horizon of the snow, I saw the never ending slope falling towards the lake that apparently was frozen. As I sat on one of the unfrozen steps, I looked up once again, and I see the beautiful full moon sitting on a cloud. The stars shined even brighter when the moon glistened its light down to Earth. The lake looked really calm and I only saw a couple of ripples being caused by a female duck and her ducklings swimming in the middle of the lake. In the morning when I looked outside the window, the sun shined beautifully through the icicles......

Words: 367 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Clean Lighted Place Novel Answer

..."A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" is one of my favorite short stories by Hemingway. A story about three men at different states of their lives; two waiters of a cafe (one young, one older) and an old man as a customer. The old man is living in a state of despair and loneliness, having recently attempted suicide. The younger waiter is insensitive to this and just wants the old man to leave. He himself has "everything": youth, confidence, a job and a wife. He does not realize that not everybody has that because he is blinded by everything that he has. He does not realize that other people are searching for meaning, searching for a reason to go on living to the next day. Meanwhile, the older waiter sympathizes with the old man. He understands his loneliness; he knows how it feels to have nothing to go home to.  In my opinion it is the older waiter that is the most tragic character in this story. We learn that he too suffers from loneliness and despair and he sees the old man in himself and he realizes that he, too, will become just like the old man. It is because of this that he wants to keep the cafe open because he knows that it is a clean, well-lighted place. It is clean and bright and can be a source of comfort to those like the old man and himself. It is not until they leave the building that we find the older waiter at a complete loss. He finds no comfort in religion anymore and even though he tries to go to another building, it is just not the same as the cafe holding......

Words: 408 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

A Well-Lighted Plae

...A Clean Well-Lighted Place Adianez Leon Composition III/Literature– ENG1300 Alan Green, PH.D. 5 September, 2014 South University Abstract The short story A Clean Well-Lighted Place by Ernest Hemingway, deals mainly with the subject of loneliness, as many of Hemingway’s story usually do. The story is about two waiters waiting to close their café, one is old the other is young and the customer is old. The story deals with the two waiters different take on the customer need for a clean well-lighted place where he can have more than a few drinks. The younger waiter does not understand why the customer cannot just drink at home instead of inconveniencing them by staying up so late, while the older waiter understands the customer need for a place to drink, where he can try and escape the feeling of nothing less which in the end will come to all of us regardless of social status. This story shows the men who are at different stages of life and how they see the inevitable death in dissimilar ways. In the end as the saying goes the only things guaranteed are death and taxes, however you can only control the way you approach the death. A Clean Well-lighted Place Ernest Hemingway short story “A Clean Well-Lighted Place” is one of many short stories written by one of The 20th Centuries most celebrated authors. Hemingway was part of what they called the lost generation, the generation that served during the First World War, which later on came to be used for a group of......

Words: 1333 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Age Discimination in the Work Place

...Age Discrimination in the Workplace George Siler Human Resource Age Discrimination in the workplace Paul is a skilled welder and has been with the same company for over 40 years. All employees from the owner to the janitor know of his contributions that have allowed the organization to flourish. You see, Paul was a specialized welder that was able to accomplish government contracts that allowed the factory to remain open during the past recession. As he was approaching his sixty-second birthday that was attended by co-workers, supervisors and even the owner attended his party to honor this impressive worker. During this time, the owner decided that the time was right to hire a young worker to be trained by Paul to continue the specialized production for the distant future. This was a prudent decision, because all owners and CEO’S have a primary responsibility to improve the bottom line. I know this is true because every business course that I have had this is the message provided by my professors. This story then takes a turn for the worst. Paul trains the young worker, and then the owner thinks why am I paying two people for the same job? Who do you think gets his walking papers? Paul is clearly a victim of age discrimination. Like most of the labor force he is ignorant of the law and becomes one of the many of unreported cases of this abuse of power. In order to help protect those who stand to be singled out and let go because of the unfairness of ageism, the......

Words: 1373 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Relative Age Effects

...When Peers Are Not Equals: The Relative Age Effect in the Classroom Abstract Relative age effects are differentiated experiences amongst children in the earliest years of primary school resulting from both a single, yearly cut-off date and an escalation of curriculum replacing socialization with skill acquisition activities as early as kindergarten before maturity differences by age have evened out. Implementation of three cut-off dates per class and the creation of individual student developmental planning reduces the potentially long lasting effects associated with relative age differences. This study aims to determine the existence of, and potential long lasting effects associated with, relative age differences. A background on the evolving framework of early elementary curriculum to that of a factory model emphasizing the development of the whole over the individual is included to underscore the ripe conditions for relative age effects to manifest themselves. If nothing is done, relatively younger students will continue to score noticeably lower in reading, math, and science testing throughout elementary and middle school. Pre-university program participation in high school and college enrollment will remain lower, on average, among the relative youngest. Lastly, implications for educational policy, administrations, parents, and teachers are evaluated. What if the date of someone’s birthday was a gift in it of itself? Suppose this gift was......

Words: 3549 - Pages: 15

Free Essay

The Effects of Age on Reaction Time

...Reaction Time v Age The aim of my investigation is to find out how age affects reaction time IV- The independent variable will be aged (10-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, and 35-40) DV- The dependent variable will be the reaction time of the participant Control Variables What I will control | How I will control it | Why you need to control it | Ruler | Use the same ruler every time | Different rulers may have different weights | Temperature | Do the experiment in a temperature controlled room | Different temperatures will affect reaction time. | Amount of stimulants | Tell participants to not consume any stimulants such as caffeine on the day of the experiment | If a participant consumes any stimulants it will lead to an increased reaction time due to the synaptic cleft getting smaller | Starting position of Ruler | Make the participant hold their hand straight out | | Noise | Do experiment in an empty room | Noise could possibly distract the participant therefore slowing down the reaction time | Light | Make sure the same amount of lights are on every time | Reaction time decreases in poor visibility so it would be unfair if the participants were hindered because of this. | Equipment List Ruler (1M) - To test reaction time Paper/Pen- Needed to record reaction time Method To test reaction time I will be using the ruler drop test 1) Hold a ruler just above the participants hand so that the participants hand is on level with 0cm...

Words: 274 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

The Effect of Bilingualism and Age on Inhibitory Control

...The effect of bilingualism and age on inhibitory control The study by Salvatierra and Rosselli (2010) examined whether bilingualism is a protective factor against age-related cognitive effects by exploring the effects of bilingualism in an inhibitory control task (Salvatierra, & Rosselli, 2010). Existing research evidence in the literature is not conclusive and does not provide a definitive position on whether or not being bilingual offers any protective benefits to people cognitive functioning as they age. Studies that have demonstrated a bilingual advantage, (Bialystok, Craik, & Freedman, 2007; Kaye, Eyal, Shorek, & Cohen-Mansfield, 2008) reported that language proficiency was high in both languages. Salvatierra and Rosselli’s (2010) hypothesis was that the bilingual groups would do better than the monolingual groups on the Simon task. The Simon task refers to reaction times, which are usually faster and more accurate when the light stimulus occurs in the same relative location as the response information processing (Simon and Wolf, 1963). Explanations for the Simon effect generally refer to the interference that occurs in the response selection stage of decision making. Secondly, the researchers hypothesized that there would be further differentiation between the balanced and non-balanced bilinguals. Balanced verses non-balanced refer to the level of language proficiency in the dominant and less dominant language. Bilinguals with similar naming scores on the......

Words: 797 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

A Clean Well-Lighted Place

...“A Clean Well-Lighted Place” Analysis “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”, by Ernest Hemmingway, is a story of two waiters working late one night in “A Clean, Well-Lighted” cafe. The image of the café is central to the story; we get a feeling that outside this place the world is chaos. The story opens with two waiters discussing an old man who frequents the café where they work. He constantly stays late into the night drinking. One of the waiters, a younger man, expresses his dislike of the old man while the older waiter sympathizes and relates to the old man. The younger waiter wants the old man to go home while the older waiter doesn’t seem to care one way or another. This story is a tale of despair and loneliness and how different people deal with it. The older waiter defends the old man him because he can relate to his despair. Loneliness and old age are the common bonds that the older waiter shares with the old man. In time he will be old, unable to work and feel lonely because his lack friends. The old man seems to think there is no meaning to his life. It is like he has given up. There is no good or bad; no right or wrong, the only thing that may matter is making what time he has left somewhat bearable. The fact that he gets drunk every night and stays late at the café shows he has nothing better to do with his last bit of time. Depression puts a negative spin on everything, including the way you see yourself, the situations you encounter, and your expectations for the......

Words: 919 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

The Effects on It Personal in the Work Place

...search of a position in the field of Information Technology with a new and exciting company, breaking barriers in Technology. TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS * Installation and management of Windows(XP, 7), and UNIX servers and clients, Windows 2000, UNIX (Solaris 8) * Working understanding of L.A.M.P. configurations * Maintained healthy network environment via defrags, and firewalls * Troubleshoot printers, network connection issues, hardware problems ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATIONS * Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills * Positive, self-motivated, and able to make difficult decisions in stressful situations * Outstanding small unit leadership skills * Enjoys working as a team member, as well as independently * Able to motivate staff to meet project deadlines EDUCATION/TRAINING ITT Technical Institute, San Diego, CA - Associate of Science in Computer Network Systems, Anticipated Graduation, June 2012 – Current GPA 3.81/4.0 * Courses include: Introduction to Personal Computers, Introduction to Computer Programming, Problem Solving, LINUX Operating System, MICROSOFT Desktop Operating Systems, Strategies for the Technical Professional, Network Standards and Protocols, College Mathematics 1 U.S. Marine Corps Trained in Firearms, Leadership, Diversity, Communication, Basic Electronics Maintenance, Computer & Networking System Administration EXPERIENCE IT Customer Support Agent, Mindtouch Inc., San Diego,......

Words: 536 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

A Place You Know Well

...Mr. Hong English A March 19, 2012 A Place You Know Well During my time as a child, I remember visiting so many places with my family throughout Southern California. One of the best memories was when I visited Lake Arrowhead. Located in the beautiful mountains of San Bernardino, Lake Arrowhead is a tiny city where every family would enjoy living in. Not only is Lake Arrowhead Village a great place to live but great place to enjoy nature’s beauty at any time of the day. I remember Lake Arrowhead for its beautiful scenery, it is family-oriented, and it has many outdoor activities. While visiting Lake Arrowhead in the winter time, I fell head over heels with the beautiful scenery that nature brought upon my eyes. As I arrived to the house in the evening, I looked up and I was able to see the stars that lit up the sky above me. As I walk down to the lake, I was able to hear the crickets’ chirping and the owls hooting as they hear the crackling of the snow that I’m stepping upon. As I look through the horizon of the snow, I saw the never ending slope falling towards the lake that apparently was frozen. As I sat on one of the unfrozen steps, I looked up once again, and I see the beautiful full moon sitting on a cloud. The stars shined even brighter when the moon glistened its light down to Earth. The lake looked really calm and I only saw a couple of ripples being caused by a female duck and her ducklings swimming in the middle of the lake. In the morning when I looked......

Words: 856 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

A Place That I Know Well

...From the moment I arrive at Orlando Florida’s International Airport I am thrilled to be back to my favorite place in the world. A thirty-minute drive away is a place called the International Drive; this is where I stay during my time in Florida. Orlando's 14.5 mile long International Drive is a place I know only to well. Having been fortunate enough to stay on the International Drive several times I am aware of all of the great things it has to offer. It is a place that makes me feel such happiness whenever I visit, a place that holds fond memories and a place I will continue to visit for as long as I possibly can. The International Drive is always busy. The majority of people are tourists staying in the area. Many people uses this areas to stay as it is in the heart of Orlando and is ideally situated close to Walt Disney World Resorts and other theme parks such as Sea World and Busch Gardens. There is never a dull moment on the I-Drive. From the moment you leave the hotel you are surrounded by a great deal of things to see and do. Amongst these things are a fantastic water park, arcades, numerous adventure golf courses, museums, restaurants, dinner shows and so much more. There are plenty of attractions to keep you busy plus, at each end of the road, some great outlets for shopping. The majority of the things to do are within walking distance but alternatively tourists can take advantage of the I-ride Trolleys. These are very cheap little green buses that have marked......

Words: 704 - Pages: 3