To begin, Hemingway indirectly characterizes the old waiter as wise in order to demonstrate how he utilizes this quality to facilitate the abandonment of his problems. At the bar, when analyzing the old drunk man, the old waiter immediately recognizes the root of the drunkard's problems. He feels sympathy for the man, pointing out that he is in despair and that he might be happier if he was married (Hemingway 2-3). The old waiter also uses his wisdom when he offers the young waiter advice. The old waiter suggests that the young waiter forget about his lack of confidence and youth and move on with his priorities (Hemingway 4). The old waiter demonstrates his wisdom once more on his journey home after working at his clean cafe. He notices that the bar where he has sat down for a small drink is very bright, but dirty. He then contemplates laying in bed and getting a restful sleep during the daytime. The story reads, "He disliked bars and bodegas. A clean, well-lighted café was a very different thing. Now, without thinking furth...
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...ted in the characters in this story, as well. Hemingway defines peace as being a temporary loss of one's problems; alcohol is the outlet that many characters in Hemingway's short stories use to forget about their worries. Although the effects of alcohol are impermanent, it allows them to move on through life looking forward to the next time they can be intoxicated.
Earnest Hemingway in "A Clean Well-Lighted Place," uses literary devices throughout his story in order to provide readers with his view on peace as being a temporary feeling that enable characters to carry on through life. He uses indirect characterization to classify the old waiter as being wise, setting to provide the reader with a contrast between the dark outdoors and clean, bright and safe indoors, and symbolism of alcohol as an outlet for the characters to forget about their worries temporarily.
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