In this work I’m going to examine and compare two stories wrote by Hemingway “A clean well-lighted place” and Faulkner “The rose for Emily”. This two stories touch upon the same theme-loneliness, but despite this fact the old man (from Hemingway story) and Emily (from Faulkner story) act in different ways towards the society.
As for the old man (from Hemingway story) both symbolically and physically, he finds refuge in drinking brandy in this pleasant atmosphere of the coffee. The younger waiter doesn’t understand neither psychological nor spiritual dimension of the problem; hence, he cares only about not getting to go home in time. But the older waiter is like the old man, he understands him, has stared into the Great Nada, the “nothing he knew all too well.”
This completely nihilistic ideology celebrates individuals, like the old waiter and the man, who find a method of coping with life’s obstacles in exquisite, majestic way. However the old man drinks, he isn’t harsh or naughty, but considerate and civil. Despite the obvious sufferings in his life (since he attempts felo-de-se), he doesn’t lose his serenity, he controls himself, showing dignity under compression. Such grace, Hemingway alleges, should be the aim of every human being.
I think that the main idea of this story is unity and solidarity of people. The older waiter utters his solidarity with the old man. But the young waiter doesn’t understand this problem at all he is rather self-sufficient and selfish person. The eldest waiter and the old man seem very lonely and sick and tired of life. He comprehends his severities and protected him; he also prefers to a clean, well-lighted café, to the bar; he is also looking for such place to prevent his own hopelessness at night.
The climax of the story agrees closely with the climax of the solidarity theme. It comes in its final line: ‘‘He disliked bars and bodegas. A clean, well-lighted cafe was a very different thing. Now, without thinking further, he would go home to his room. He would lie in the bed and finally, with daylight, he would go to sleep. After all, he said to himself, it’s probably only insomnia.
Many must have it.” Hemingway wanted to say in “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” and this idea runs through all of his literature: there is no God, no significance to this world, and man must step by step find something to bewilder himself from this terrible truth.
At the end of the older waiter attempts to convince himself that may be this terrible futility is such an escape in “a clean well-lighted place”. This is a synthetic light, which was made by one man for another man, yet it is the only method to escape the darkness of real life, which is filled with nothing significant.
As for the style of the story, from my point of view, this novel is rather brief and facile so this style is called “minimalism” in its aesthetics (the word aesthetics refers to how the author tells his story). In this style one uses the concept of the minimum building blocks, which are necessary to realize the process of telling a story. Hemingway uses simple poetic diction, usually monosyllabic words of Anglo-Saxon, as antagonistic to Latin, origin.
As for Grammar, he uses simple sentences; actually this is his style of writing. The story is lack of figurative language – no metaphor or simile, for example. Character and plot are minimized. These three characters do not even have names. All that happens is that the two waiters talk, the old man drinks, and then they all go home. There is little figurative language—no metaphor or simile, for example.
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