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A Clean, Well-Lighted Place Essay | Critical Essay #4

This Study Guide consists of approximately 97 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.
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Critical Essay #4

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. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our A Clean, Well-Lighted Place Study Guide
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A Clean, Well-Lighted Place from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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