Throughout the story, Hemingway incorporates both symbols and motifs to emphasize the notion that the characters in the story are filled with despair and are searching for relief. The most prominent symbol in the story is the cafe from which the story gets its title. The action of the story takes place in a cafe late at night. Two waiters are waiting for an old man, who frequents the cafe, to leave so that they can close it up for the night. The two waiters discuss the old man, and the younger of the two waiters is impatient for him to leave. The older waiter suspects that the old man is lonely and goes to the cafe to escape his loneliness (143-44). The older waitor can identify with the man because his life mirriors the old man's in terms of emptiness. Hemingway uses the cafe as a symbol to r...
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...ife. Hemingway used this story as a way to express his own emotions, and he created characters that were vessels to convey his doubts about hummanity. He was masterful in constructing a story that seems so subtle and doesn't rely on too much detail. Hemingway only provides the reader with limited details and he has left it up to them to discover the meaning of the story below the surface. The simpleness of the story adds so much more to the meaning. The symbol of the cafe and what it represents for the characters and Hemingway is powerful. The story has real ressonance with the reader who feels tremendous sympathy for the characters, and they can relate to the emotions of loneliness that Hemingway explores.
Kennedy, X.J. and Dana Gioia, eds. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. 6th ed. New York: Longman, 2010. Print.
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