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A Clean Well-lighted Place In Ernest Hemingways A Clean Well-lighted Place reprinted in RS Gwynn Fiction 2nd ed New York Longman 1998 104 images of light are contrasted with images of darkness and shadow to symbolize the contrasting ideas of faith and doubt These images of opposites are the theme of the story and throughout the stories length they reinforce its meaning Ernest Hemingways A Clean Well-lighted Place is a story based around a small caf with its two waiters its single patron and the events that take place just prior to its closing and soon thereafter The patron who keeps the two waiters until closing is an elderly deaf man who attempted to commit suicide the week before The old mans attempt to kill himself was thwarted by his niece who is his caretaker assumedly since his wife either died or left him and he turned to the bottle for support In the story the idea of doubt is perceived as shadow and is seen throughout the entire story The tables were all empty except where the old man sat in the shadow of the leaves of the tree that move slightly in the wind104 This perhaps depicts the doubt that the old man has and by placing himself in the shadow he is expressing this or possibly that he is trying to remove himself from the rest of the world since his attempt at suicide failed His deafness is also a reinforcement of the constant shadow that the old man constantly lives in which is removing him from the constant turmoil of everyday lifeThe old man liked to sit late because he was deaf and now at night it was quiet and he could feel the difference104 In his deafness he is enabled to disconnect from the rest of the world which is the most probably reason for his loneliness It is not a choice that he is deaf
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