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Word Count: 646
Ernest Hemingways story A Clean Well Lighted Place is primarily set in a cafe late in the evening as two waiters wait for their last customer to leave so they can close shop for the evening The younger of the two waiters is impatient to get home to his wife and warm bed the older waiter has more patience because in part he has no one and nothing to go home to He will leave after closing and find himself in a bodega or bar trying to steel himself for another night alone The old man of the tale appears to be the protagonist as the others discuss his life his attempt at suicide and his loneliness As the story evolves it is the older waiter on whom the story turns We see more deeply into his mind and feel his suffering The old man has been a catalyst for the reflections of the old waiter and has reflected the same feelings the old waiter battles each evening The darkness and sense of dread and loneliness brought on by late evening cause a rueful feeling in the older waiter He tries to pray but his prayers dissolve into a dark joke in which the word nada or its English translation nothing comes into prominent use Clearly the older waiter has lost faith in Gods ability to positively impact his life His fear of darkness is based on his fear of what awaits him after life He concludes that what awaits is nada also To really understand this story you must have some knowledge of Hemingway so read his biography in the text He was a lover of all things macho such as bullfights boxing hunting dangerous game and deep sea fishing He was an ambulance driver in war and a war correspondent during the Spanish Civil War He was always close to the action After World War I he spent much of his adult life
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