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The Role of Scenario in Ernest Hemingway’s a Clean, Well-lighted Place

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There are different ways in which authors write their stories in which makes it easier for the readers to imagine. In A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, by Ernest Hemingway, the setting is a cafe somewhere in a Spanish country where two waiters waited for an old man to finish drinking, so they could go home. This cafe represents a safe place for lonely people, a place where they can go to escape their despair and loneliness.

The scenario of the story acts as a sign of a longing for comfort and safety. The story takes place in the cafe where the old man sat in a chair in the shade of a tree. Where two waiters wait for the old man to finish his drink and while they wait, they talk about the old man who tried to commit suicide. While waiting the waiters saw a soldier with a woman who an escort to which one of the waiters said they should be more careful because they saw a guard a while ago. That’s when the old man hits his glass on the saucer to ask for more drink, which the young bartender seems to be really upset and tells the deaf old man that he wishes he had succeeded in committing suicide. The young waiter seems in a hurry to go home because his wife is waiting for him, making him look as if he does not feel sympathy for the old man’s desperation.

In this story, it seems that the oldest waiter is the one who feels sympathy and thinks that he should allow customers to stay longer because drinking at home isn’t the same. And that he himself is one of those people who like to stay up late in the cafe. While the oldest waiter thinks it should remain open, the younger waiter thinks they should close and go home. The younger waiter says that there are other liquor stores open, while the other says that it is different from drinking in a good cafe with a pleasant atmosphere. The way the cafe is described and how its surroundings are described makes me think that it resembles Starbucks or 19 barrios.

All this caused the old man to leave the cafe, and the young waiter to return home. While the older waiter decided to go to an open bar. The older waiter says a mocking prayer that says: ‘Our nada who art in nada, nada be thy name thy kingdom nada thy will be nada in nada as it is in nada. Give us this nada our daily nada and nada us our nada as we nada our nadas and nada us not into nada but deliver us from nada; pues nada’ The old man ends up in a bar where he had a drink and told the waiter that worked there that the bar was not clean.’ The older waiter left after a drink because he preferred the cafe over the bar, he goes home and waits for the sun to rise so that he can go to sleep saying that he has insomnia and that he is sure that others must have it.

The scenario of In A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, is an important part of this story because it describes the feeling of the characters. In this story, Hemingway uses the cafe to describe the mood of the story with the loneliness and despair of two of his characters. Then there is the young waiter who seems to have no sympathy for lonely people because he only thinks about himself throughout the story. The elder and the older waiter needed comfort for their loneliness and the cafe was that comfort. The story shows us how we sometimes need a clean, well-lit place to get away from the darkness of our lives. 

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The Role Of Scenario In Ernest Hemingway’s A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. (2021, January 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 22, 2021, from
“The Role Of Scenario In Ernest Hemingway’s A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.” GradesFixer, 25 Jan. 2021,
The Role Of Scenario In Ernest Hemingway’s A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Oct. 2021].
The Role Of Scenario In Ernest Hemingway’s A Clean, Well-Lighted Place [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Jan 25 [cited 2021 Oct 22]. Available from:
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