A Clean, Well-Lighted Place Essay

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In the following essay Bennett observes the dichotomy between confidence and despair and notes the irony that works throughout the story.

Interpretation of Hemingway's short story "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" has always been confronted with the illogical dialogue sequence between the two waiters. Since analysis probably became stalled on the question of which waiter knew about the old man's attempted suicide, interpretation has tended to center on either the older waiter's nada prayer or the problem of the illogical sequence itself. The result seems to be a partial misinterpretation of the character of the younger waiter, a failure to see the wide play of irony in the story, and the absence of any interpretation of the story's ironic resolution.

However, before these latter matters can be successfully dealt with, the story's troubled dialogue must still be preliminarily considered. Scribner's claims that the dialogue inconsistency occurred when a slug...

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This section contains 3,287 words
(approx. 9 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Clean, Well-Lighted Place Study Guide
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