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Word Count: 965
In A Clean Well-Lighted Place Earnest Hemingway focuses on the pain of old age suffered by a man that we meet in a caf late one night Through the use of dialogue Hemingway creates three characters that symbolize the stages of life birth living and death Additionally the tone of the story is created in three ways First he contrasts light and dark to show the difference between the difference between this man and the young people around him Secondly he uses the old mans deafness as an image of his separation from the rest of the world Lastly Hemingway uses the image of nada or nothing Hemingways tone and choice of language leaves the reader feeling that they too cannot escape from the doldrums of the dead years of their own lifeThrough the language of dialogue three characters emerge creating a symbolic illustration of the progression of life The young waiter states I have confidence I am all confidence258 He displays his eagerness to conquer the world When we are young we live for today for ourselves without regard for what the future may hold Tomorrow is a dream tomorrow is something left to the old However in all his confidence he lacks patience and understanding which can only come with the experience of life Because of this lack of experience he is not capable of compassion for the old manYou have youth confidence and a job the older waiter replies 258 The older waiter symbolizes the living stage of life He is filled with despair but not yet completely devoid of hope He is uncertain of what the rest of his life may bring but a modicum of hope still exists The old waiter has the omniscient view of the three progressions of life He has lived beyond his birth stage is teetering in the living stage and through the unfolding life of the old man is painfully aware of the future
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