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RUNNING HEAD: COMPOSITION
1
COMPOSITION
5
Article Writing
Student’s Name: Daysi Fernandez
John, V. (1964). Tidying Up Hemingway’s Clean Well-Lighted
Place,Studies in Short Fiction, 1, p. 140-146
In Ernest Hemingway's short story, A Clean, Well-Lighted
Place, an elderly man sits in the wee hours of the morning,
drinking one brandy after another. Two waiters on shift serve
him and talk about him while he sips his brandy at the lonely
table. They talk about his drinking habits and his personal life.
From their conversations, we get to know that the old man tried
to commit suicide a week ago but was saved by his niece who
cut down the rope. The younger waiter loses patience with the
old man and refuses to serve him brandy. The older waiter who
is watching from a distance asks the younger waiter to be
patient to allow the old man to stay longer but the younger
waiter is adamant in making sure the old man leaves. Once the
old man pays the bill and leaves, the older waiter criticizes the
younger waiter for his lack of sympathy with the old man. The
younger waiter closes the cafe and goes home to his wife whom
he persists is waiting for him in bed while the older waiter
checks into a bar for a drink before heading home.
The quality of a scholarly article is evaluated on the basis of its
accuracy, robustness, transparency, availability and
unbiasedness. The Eigenfactor fundamentally measures the
relative frequency of occurrence of each journal in the network
of citations, and applies this as a measure of prestige. It
automatically excludes journal self-citations unlike most other
indicators. The article has applied citation to track performance
with the sources of citation data derived from the original short
story, 'A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.’ Originally published in
1933, the short story portrays elements of nilihism, famous with
the modernist texts of that period. Dictated adversely by
Friedrich Nietzsche, nihilism is a philosophy that calls into
question the meaning of all things and even doubts the existence
of meaning at all. Modern scholars confronted this doubt in
diverse ways. In this story, Hemingway expresses the nihilistic
doubt by regularly using the terminologies ‘nothing’ and ‘nada.’
The themes discussed in the article are relevant to the real
world. The author depicts a dillusioning real life situation in
which the characters address the unpredictability of existance,
the fading of happiness and the universality of human suffering.
The old man seems frail and dejected in life. He is facing
loneliness and advancing death, which even money cannot
prevent. The young waiter represents the materialism and
insensibility of the youth. The old waiter symbolizes the
perspective and wisdom of age, which is demonstrated by
attempting to understand the possible reasons behind the old
man's profound despair and alleged suicide attempt.
Every human being must face loneliness in diverse ways. They
do it in distinct ways. Others divert their attention away from
the loud silence of loneliness, so they intensively engage on
work. Some watch television, others turn to their wives or
husbands, pitying those less fortunate, thinking that they will
never feel that kind of despair. They do not pause to remember
that youth is a temporary stage that they will advance from. For
some, pouring brandy into shiny glass while feeling the silence
of the night is soothing. Others face loneliness by helping
others to face theirs. They strive to provide a clean place with
decent light to the needy.
Life is so unpredictable and can change any second. Later on,
the old waiter is isolated with his knowledge that all is nothing.
He is drinking at a dirty, ragged and unhealthy bar. He cannot
achieve even the dignity that the old man at the cafe possessed;
he is also sure that he will not sleep. Probably he is suffering
from insomnia, but we know better. The old waiter cannot sleep
because he is afraid of the darkness, afraid of nothingness. The
society will only see the outside and not bother to look at what
is on the inside. For example, the young waiter believes if the
old man had money then he was immune to universal human
suffering and loneliness. Deep inside the man was lonely and
attempted suicide. Hemingway himself was a victim of
insomnia, felt alone and deserted in the universe.
REFERENCE
Abramo, G., & D’Angelo, C. (2011). Evaluating research: from
informed peer review to bibliometric. Scientometrics, 87(3),
499-514.
John, V. (1964). Tidying Up Hemingway’s Clean Well-Lighted
Place, Studies in Short Fiction, 1, p. 140-146
A Clean Well-Lighted Place
Name: Daysi Fernandez
A Clean Well-Lighted Place
The setting of Ernest Hemmingway’s short story “A
clean, Well-Lighted Place” is a clean Spanish café where two
unidentified waiters are discussing an old man. The man, also
unidentified, comes every evening, sits alone and drinks beyond
the closing hour. According to the youngest waiter, the old man
had attempted to commit suicide a week earlier. When the
elderly waiter inquires why the old man had tried to kill
himself, he is told that the man was in despair. But when asked
why the old man was in desperation, the young waiter responds:
“Nothing” and continue to reveal that there is no reason to
commit suicide particularly when one has sufficient money like
in the case of the old man. To the young waiter, committing
suicide yet you are rich is un-heard of because money is
everything and can solve many problems. Contrastingly, the old
waiter knows too well about despair and fear and these could
not be the reasons why the old man wanted to take his life. Of
the old waiter, Hemmingway says, “it was nothing that he knew
too well.” Without plot and characters that stand for anything
and with nothing happening in this short story, Hemingway
enables the reader to focus on his narrative style that gives the
story its meaning.
While searching for the meaning of the story, readers
are in a privileged position to find it through the author’s third
person narration. That is to say, Hemingway’s omniscient third
person position of narration makes it possible for a reader to see
and comprehend what is happening in the minds of the speaker.
Specifically reader get to know what is happening in the mind
of the young waiter and the old man as well as the old waiter’s
mind from whom the true meaning of the short story is revealed.
Looking closely at the mind of the old waiter, the readers can
find how insightful and meaningful story is. Steadily,
Hemingway’s diction enables the reader to understand the
actuality of living. The reality of life, in this case, is found
beneath the emotions, darkness, isolation, as well as the
existential depression caused by ‘nothingness.’ Existential
nihilism is the kind of philosophy that Hemingway uses in his
narration. He reveals this through the old waiter who paints life
as meaningless and vanity. In this regard, life is presented as
empty, useless and emotionally dark especially in the existence
of the old man and the old waiter.that is akin to saying that the
two are victims of misery, loneliness, fear and nothingness or
nada. For them, the clean, well-lighted café, though deserted, is
the only refuge from where they can forget their fears and
hopelessness.
Other narrative techniques that Hemingway use include
eventual isolation and existential depression in his quest to
express the essential themes of the short story. Eventual
isolation from life is conveyed through the old man’s deafness
and his habit of sitting in “the shadow of leaves of the tree”.
This implies the intensity of the old man’s isolation from the
rest of the world is huge. His attempt to commit suicide implies
that the old man is hopeless and suffers depression. Thus, he
has no chance to redeem his life. According to Hemingway, one
can escape their troubles by finding a place to hide from
‘nothingness’; a clean, well-lighted place.
References
Hemingway, E. (1933). A clean, well-lighted place. Scribner’s
Magazine.

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Copyright of Studies in Short Fiction .docx

  • 1. Copyright of Studies in Short Fiction is the property of Newberry College and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. RUNNING HEAD: COMPOSITION 1 COMPOSITION 5 Article Writing Student’s Name: Daysi Fernandez John, V. (1964). Tidying Up Hemingway’s Clean Well-Lighted Place,Studies in Short Fiction, 1, p. 140-146
  • 2. In Ernest Hemingway's short story, A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, an elderly man sits in the wee hours of the morning, drinking one brandy after another. Two waiters on shift serve him and talk about him while he sips his brandy at the lonely table. They talk about his drinking habits and his personal life. From their conversations, we get to know that the old man tried to commit suicide a week ago but was saved by his niece who cut down the rope. The younger waiter loses patience with the old man and refuses to serve him brandy. The older waiter who is watching from a distance asks the younger waiter to be patient to allow the old man to stay longer but the younger waiter is adamant in making sure the old man leaves. Once the old man pays the bill and leaves, the older waiter criticizes the younger waiter for his lack of sympathy with the old man. The younger waiter closes the cafe and goes home to his wife whom he persists is waiting for him in bed while the older waiter checks into a bar for a drink before heading home. The quality of a scholarly article is evaluated on the basis of its accuracy, robustness, transparency, availability and unbiasedness. The Eigenfactor fundamentally measures the relative frequency of occurrence of each journal in the network of citations, and applies this as a measure of prestige. It automatically excludes journal self-citations unlike most other indicators. The article has applied citation to track performance with the sources of citation data derived from the original short story, 'A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.’ Originally published in 1933, the short story portrays elements of nilihism, famous with the modernist texts of that period. Dictated adversely by Friedrich Nietzsche, nihilism is a philosophy that calls into question the meaning of all things and even doubts the existence of meaning at all. Modern scholars confronted this doubt in diverse ways. In this story, Hemingway expresses the nihilistic doubt by regularly using the terminologies ‘nothing’ and ‘nada.’ The themes discussed in the article are relevant to the real world. The author depicts a dillusioning real life situation in
  • 3. which the characters address the unpredictability of existance, the fading of happiness and the universality of human suffering. The old man seems frail and dejected in life. He is facing loneliness and advancing death, which even money cannot prevent. The young waiter represents the materialism and insensibility of the youth. The old waiter symbolizes the perspective and wisdom of age, which is demonstrated by attempting to understand the possible reasons behind the old man's profound despair and alleged suicide attempt. Every human being must face loneliness in diverse ways. They do it in distinct ways. Others divert their attention away from the loud silence of loneliness, so they intensively engage on work. Some watch television, others turn to their wives or husbands, pitying those less fortunate, thinking that they will never feel that kind of despair. They do not pause to remember that youth is a temporary stage that they will advance from. For some, pouring brandy into shiny glass while feeling the silence of the night is soothing. Others face loneliness by helping others to face theirs. They strive to provide a clean place with decent light to the needy. Life is so unpredictable and can change any second. Later on, the old waiter is isolated with his knowledge that all is nothing. He is drinking at a dirty, ragged and unhealthy bar. He cannot achieve even the dignity that the old man at the cafe possessed; he is also sure that he will not sleep. Probably he is suffering from insomnia, but we know better. The old waiter cannot sleep because he is afraid of the darkness, afraid of nothingness. The society will only see the outside and not bother to look at what is on the inside. For example, the young waiter believes if the old man had money then he was immune to universal human suffering and loneliness. Deep inside the man was lonely and attempted suicide. Hemingway himself was a victim of insomnia, felt alone and deserted in the universe. REFERENCE Abramo, G., & D’Angelo, C. (2011). Evaluating research: from
  • 4. informed peer review to bibliometric. Scientometrics, 87(3), 499-514. John, V. (1964). Tidying Up Hemingway’s Clean Well-Lighted Place, Studies in Short Fiction, 1, p. 140-146 A Clean Well-Lighted Place Name: Daysi Fernandez A Clean Well-Lighted Place The setting of Ernest Hemmingway’s short story “A clean, Well-Lighted Place” is a clean Spanish café where two unidentified waiters are discussing an old man. The man, also unidentified, comes every evening, sits alone and drinks beyond the closing hour. According to the youngest waiter, the old man had attempted to commit suicide a week earlier. When the elderly waiter inquires why the old man had tried to kill himself, he is told that the man was in despair. But when asked why the old man was in desperation, the young waiter responds: “Nothing” and continue to reveal that there is no reason to commit suicide particularly when one has sufficient money like in the case of the old man. To the young waiter, committing suicide yet you are rich is un-heard of because money is everything and can solve many problems. Contrastingly, the old waiter knows too well about despair and fear and these could not be the reasons why the old man wanted to take his life. Of the old waiter, Hemmingway says, “it was nothing that he knew too well.” Without plot and characters that stand for anything and with nothing happening in this short story, Hemingway enables the reader to focus on his narrative style that gives the story its meaning. While searching for the meaning of the story, readers are in a privileged position to find it through the author’s third person narration. That is to say, Hemingway’s omniscient third
  • 5. person position of narration makes it possible for a reader to see and comprehend what is happening in the minds of the speaker. Specifically reader get to know what is happening in the mind of the young waiter and the old man as well as the old waiter’s mind from whom the true meaning of the short story is revealed. Looking closely at the mind of the old waiter, the readers can find how insightful and meaningful story is. Steadily, Hemingway’s diction enables the reader to understand the actuality of living. The reality of life, in this case, is found beneath the emotions, darkness, isolation, as well as the existential depression caused by ‘nothingness.’ Existential nihilism is the kind of philosophy that Hemingway uses in his narration. He reveals this through the old waiter who paints life as meaningless and vanity. In this regard, life is presented as empty, useless and emotionally dark especially in the existence of the old man and the old waiter.that is akin to saying that the two are victims of misery, loneliness, fear and nothingness or nada. For them, the clean, well-lighted café, though deserted, is the only refuge from where they can forget their fears and hopelessness. Other narrative techniques that Hemingway use include eventual isolation and existential depression in his quest to express the essential themes of the short story. Eventual isolation from life is conveyed through the old man’s deafness and his habit of sitting in “the shadow of leaves of the tree”. This implies the intensity of the old man’s isolation from the rest of the world is huge. His attempt to commit suicide implies that the old man is hopeless and suffers depression. Thus, he has no chance to redeem his life. According to Hemingway, one can escape their troubles by finding a place to hide from ‘nothingness’; a clean, well-lighted place.
  • 6. References Hemingway, E. (1933). A clean, well-lighted place. Scribner’s Magazine.