Towards the end of the story when the old waiter ponders that he himself is not able to sleep at night, says to himself:. The ending of the story conveys a lot more than it seems to convey leaving the reader ponder on their own reality of the world.
Pingback: A clean,well-lighted place analysis « Krisna Partawindu. Laverne J. Frost said:. January 6, at pm. Emotional darkness is the first component that must be unfolded when analyzing the theme of the story. The symbol of an empty, meaningless life, emotional darkness, surrounds the old man and the older waiter. For them, the cafe with all its light and cleanliness is as the only little oasis in darkness where they can forget their fears.
It is well lighted. The light is very good. Unfortunately, the light which calms their nerves and brings warmth to their souls is temporary. Their lack of confidence does not let them defeat the overwhelming darkness in their lives.
May 16, at pm. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. The mere four-page story, evocatively chiselled and crafted, remains a chilling little masterpiece.
Darkness is a symbol of loneliness, despairs, death and nothingness of man. The light signifies comfort, peace, pleasantness and the company of others. The old customer finds comfort in the clean well-lighted cafe and wanted to stay there as long as he was permitted. This brings out the contrast between youth and old age and its relation to light and darkness respectively.
Like the old customer and the old waiter in the story, many of us long for a place or state of being of safety and comfort i. The Cafe: This is where the majority of the scenes in the story takes place. The Cafe is pleasant, clean and well-lighted. The action and dialogues between the three characters in the story i.
The Bar: There are different view points about the bar. The young waiter does not see a difference between drinking or sitting in a bar and a cafe. He remarks, there are bodegas for those who wish to stay up drinking all night.
In contrast the old waiter detests bars and bodegas but ironically goes to the bar to have a drink while reflecting on the nothingness of man and life. The bar setup consists of the barman and the old waiter, who goes there for a drink. The old waiter after work goes to the bar for a drink and then without further thinking heads towards home. He lies on the bed but is unable to sleep and this clears up the earlier reasons for him being reluctant to close up and wanting to stay late at the cafe, to be with those who do not want to go to bed and who need a light for the night.
The thought provoking statement leaves the readers with their own gripping fear of nothingness of man and life. The Street: The street only acts as a background to the other settings. The street is referred to during the talks between the two waiters when they comment on the soldier accompanied by a girl, walking on the street.
This is all that is known about the old customer and what the reader sees beyond are the viewpoints of the two waiters about the old customer. He is insensitive towards the gnawing despair of the old man and is in a hurry to close the cafe and go home. He is a flat character with myopic attitude towards the realities and test-situations of life.
He is too self-contained and glued to his present to foresee the possibility that he may someday be as old as the old man and may outlive the wife like the old man. Old waiter: The old waiter registers greater awareness and human concern and empathy.
He is unhappy at the unseemly haste with which the young waiter forces the old man to leave the cafe. The Barman: We understand from the language used that the barman is Spanish and the story has a Spanish setting. The soldier and the girl: As mentioned earlier above, the underlying relevance for presenting these characters is not clear. But it shows the general temperament of the two waiters who comment on the soldier with the girl.
The old waiter allows room for needs beyond money which may drive people to kill themselves. Work Temperament: The young waiter is in a hurry to close the cafe and go home. He is hostile towards the old customer for staying up late at the cafe. LitCharts Teacher Editions. Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of every Shakespeare play.
Sign Up. Already have an account? Sign in. From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. Literature Poetry Lit Terms Shakescleare. Download this LitChart! Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Themes All Themes. Symbols All Symbols. Theme Wheel. Everything you need for every book you read.
The way the content is organized and presented is seamlessly smooth, innovative, and comprehensive. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in A Clean, Well-Lighted Place , which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. That the old man is drunk and prone to leaving without paying suggests that he might be troubled. Active Themes. Related Quotes with Explanations. The old waiter tells the young waiter that the old drunk tried to kill himself last week.
When the young waiter asks why, the old waiter says that it cannot be for a lack of money or loneliness; the old man is well-off and lives with his niece. Meaning and Meaninglessness. The old drunk waves the young waiter over and asks for another glass of brandy.
Related Quotes with Explanations. The old waiter tells the young waiter that the old drunk tried to kill himself last week. When the young waiter asks why, the old waiter says that it cannot be for a lack of money or loneliness; the old man is well-off and lives with his niece. Meaning and Meaninglessness. The old drunk waves the young waiter over and asks for another glass of brandy. The young waiter is reluctant to serve the old drunk, knowing that the old drunk will take it as an invitation to stay even longer.
Youth and Age. When the young waiter returns to his colleague, he asks again why the old drunk tried to kill himself. The old drunk, however, believes that life is meaningless, which drove him to suicide in the first place. This hints at a generational gap in understanding life. The young waiter remarks that the man must be eighty years-old, and then he complains again about the late hour. Even now, drunk. Look at him. The younger waiter shows here that he disdains older people—considering this, it makes sense that he makes no effort to genuinely understand them.
He sees that, instead of being tragic and gross, the old drunk is actually admirable because he remains dignified in the face of meaninglessness and the difficulties of old age. The old drunk looks up from his glass in the direction of the young waiter and asks for another brandy.
Close now. In contrast, the old drunk behaves kindly: he tips the waiter despite his rudeness and leaves with dignity, showing remarkable self-possession in a difficult situation. The unhurried waiter disagrees, saying that an hour is the same to everyone. This self-importance, combined with his clear animosity towards old people, suggests that his relative youth has made him callous and lacking in perspective. For him, the meaning of life is nothing, so religious tradition should be replaced with emptiness.
When he finishes the prayer, the old waiter smiles and gets a drink at a nearby bar. After articulating life meaninglessness, the old waiter adopts the same attitude of the old drunk even inspiring derision from a bartender, just as the old drunk did. This bar, while well-lit, is dirty. Realizing this, he leaves the bar and goes home. In short, what was going on. Ah, but this is frequently fluent in english.
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