A bearing burned out on their truck, and Harry is talking about the gangrene that has infected his leg when he did not apply iodine after he scratched it. As they wait for a rescue plane from Nairobi that he knows won't arrive on time, Harry spends his time drinking and insulting Helen. Harry reviews his life, realizing that he wasted his talent through procrastination and luxury from a marriage to a wealthy woman that he doesn't love. In a series of flashbacks, Harry recalls the mountains of Bulgaria and Constantinople, as well as the suddenly hollow, sick feeling of being alone in Paris.
Critics often see these themes emerge as reflections of the cultural and spiritual malaise of the disillusioned, post- World War I Western world.
This story, with its suggestion of war the presence of the soldier and the guard and disconnected, lonely characters, manages to bring three vast concepts — loneliness, age, and death — to the reader in an incredibly effective, tragic yet subdued way.
And, because Hemingway is Hemingway, he manages amazingly to do it in under 1, words. Though the characters we meet in the story are all in different stages of life, we know that the same fate awaits all of them — and, by extension, perhaps all of us.
The old man tries to hurry along this process by hanging himself, but his niece thwarts him by cutting him down. The other important part is the fact that Hemingway wants his characters to accept this fate with dignity; the old man certainly does, and we see the older waiter in the process of coming to terms with it.
The younger waiter, however, resists the idea that he could be that old man some day — like many of us — he thinks that his youth and confidence will last forever.
However, the story gloomily concludes that these valuable things are ultimately, like everything else, defenseless against the overwhelming nothingness of existence.In "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place," the young waiter says "an old man is (complete the sentence)".
"Big Two-Hearted River" is a two-part short story written by American author Ernest Hemingway, published in the Boni & Liveright edition of In Our Time, the first American volume of Hemingway.
1 A Clean, Well-Lighted Place () / Ernest Hemingway It was very late and everyone had left the café except an old man who sat in the shadow the leaves of the tree made against the electric light. Complete summary of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Old Man and the Sea.
OUTRAGE: NAFTA "renewal" forces year copyright extensions on Canadians -- your government talked big, but capitulated to the White House tyrant -- they had no mandate whatsoever for this giveaway But this is a battle we the people can win -- no provincial government publicly supports the deal.
Ernest Hemingway originally published "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" in , but the story appeared again in in Winner Take Nothing, a collection of Hemingway short stories. In only a few pages, the story deals with several of the hard-hitting themes we see in many of Hemingway's works.