A Clean, Well-Lighted Place Essay

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Discussing the imagery, characterization, and theme of "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place," Benert concludes that it is not in fact a story about nothingness but "a totally affirmative story" that dramatizes "the possibility . . . of man continuing to act, to feel even for others, to think even about metaphysics, to create (with a smile), to control and thereby to humanize both himself and his environment."

"A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" has with justice been considered an archetypal Hemingway story, morally and aesthetically central to the Hemingway canon. But its crystalline structure and sparse diction have led many critics to judge the story itself a simple one, either about nothingness, "a little nada story," or about the author's positive values, a story "lyric rather than dramatic." I would like to suggest that it is in neither sense simple, but that the feelings and ideas which lie behind it are complex and are...

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This section contains 2,855 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Clean, Well-Lighted Place Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
A Clean, Well-Lighted Place from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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