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Existentialists believe that many things exist but are pointless until fully experienced or acted upon They usually reject religion and forms of divinity and live their lives in solitude without any fear of consequence so this allows them to have the freedom of choice The story A Clean Well-Lighted Place by Ernest Hemingway is a work of existentialism because of the characters present in the story Hemingway through the characters of the old man the young waiter and the old waiter in the story illustrates three positions on the path to existentialism The old man represents the end of the path to existentialism in the story He has already experienced the certain things in life that he wanted to experience and he no longer finds it necessary to be among the living Existentialists enjoy the freedom of choice and therefore the old man might have also wanted to choose the time and place of his death as death is one thing the existentialist cannot control unless acted upon This feeling compels the old man to attempt suicide but his attempt fails and he has now returned to a life of solitude as existentialists are accustomed to He obviously goes to this caf to be alone in his solitariness and to keep others from commenting about his existential ways As the old man leaves the waiter watched him go down the street a very old man walking unsteadily but with dignity Hemingway 31 Not only does the old man have dignity but he is also very clean when he is drinking This illustrates that the old man takes care of his own life and chooses what is best for him As the old man and the younger waiter are on opposite sides of the existentialist spectrum Hemingway uses these characters of different ages to show how they differ in their perception of the world The young waiter sees a soldier and a prostitute walking down the
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