Earnest Hemingway’s "A clean, well-lighted place" represents a safe-haven, an escape for the old man and whomever should go there. For the old man it is both an actual and symbolic inference. There are a couple of themes we can see in Hemingway’s work. There is the theme of hopelessness and dissatisfaction in the hum drum lives we live. The old man in the café is representative of fact that there is meaningless in the world, with-out order. The theme accepts the nothingness and the despair, but rejects the pessimism of it. The theme of old age is also prevalent. Hemingway implies that the old man’s attempt at suicide shows us his despair, but that this is something that comes because of his age. The theme of old age is also referenced in Hemingway’s comparison of his three characters different stages in life. Hemingway’s message conveys that no matter what our status has been in life, we all will end up in the same boat, the boat of loneliness. The real heart of the matter is that no matter what the situation, to have an escape, a clean well-lighted place is to still feel human, still feel as if you count and are part of the world. But, no matter what our circumstance we cannot escape the inevitable. We will all end up the same, we will all age, and eventually, we will die.
The café is symbolic to the story. Though there is despair and hopelessness in the world there are things that prevent the old man from falling into despair. People need somewhere bright and pleasing to sit and escape from themselves, from their hopelessness, from their loneliness. "A clean, well light place", is that safe-haven, the light needed, and the hope to go on. The old waiter says, "You do not understand. This is a clean well pleasant café. The light is very good also, now, there are shadows of the leaves". Hemingway conveys to us that the world is full of people that are not happy, and contends to these souls. It is a safe-haven for all those who go there. It...
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