A Clean, Well-Lighted Place Historical Context

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Hemingway's Folk

Many things account for the rural or small town Spanish characters and scenery of Hemingway's "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place." First, as an expatriate artist living on the continent in the 1920s, Hemingway developed a passion for Spain. He was a lifelong fan of Spanish popular traditions. He enjoyed the festivals, and he keenly appreciated the bullfight. He went to Spain often to fish in the countryside, and so he came to know its plainer people.

In addition to this familiarity with Spain's rural peoples, 'plain folk' (e.g. waiters in small towns) provide an escape from the effete, or anything resonant of "civilization" which Hemingway scrupulously wishes to avoid in his art. This is so because the disaster that was WWI was a founding event and trauma in Hemingway's life. His most admired novel, Sun Also Rises(1926), takes place around a Spanish popular festival and is...

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This section contains 601 words
(approx. 2 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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