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A Critical Analysis of Hemingways A Clean, Well-lighted Place - Essay Example

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This paper "A Critical Analysis of Hemingway’s A Clean, Well-lighted Place" discusses Ernest Hemingway’s 1954 Nobel Prize winner “A Clean, Well-lighted Place” that effectively illustrates human beings’ different answers to the most asked question: “What is the meaning of life?”…
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A Critical Analysis of Hemingways A Clean, Well-lighted Place
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Download file to see previous pages They either turn out to be hopeful amidst life adversities or become cynical of life’s real meaning.

In a much closer look, Hemingway’s work undoubtedly reflects his own experiences (Ernest Hemingway). He himself has committed suicide in the year 1961(Rédouane, Abouddahab, 2). And as a result, most critical analyses of his works become mostly biographical in nature. Hemingway’s work undoubtedly reflects a considerable amount of his life’s experiences as a soldier, writer, and reporter. It can be also noted that most of the criticism of Hemingway’s works are ideologically based and is greatly influenced by the accumulated facts about his life and work. His works usually present male personas whose characters revolve around the themes of “losing hope and faith” (Ernest Hemingway). This short story “A Clean, Well-lighted Place” somehow progresses on the same theme: of losing hope and faith to live, and of nursing the moments of despair to finding that something that will push one to continue living.

These themes were well illustrated by three characters of different walks of life, three people who see life from different perspectives: the young waiter, the old waiter, and the old-drunk man. They have different stories to tell and only in the clean, well-lighted café that their mindsets get exposed to the readers’ critical scrutiny.

In Erickson’s Psychosocial Theory, he pointed out that in each stage of a person’s life one experiences a psychosocial crisis represented by two opposing dispositions also termed by Erickson as “contrary dispositions”. If one can successfully manage each stage, he/she can get through the rest of the stages. On the other hand, If one failed, he may develop a “reduced ability to complete further stages” (Saul McLeod).

In relation to this, the young waiter represents those in the young adulthood stage, the sixth stage of Erickson’s Psychosocial Theory of Human Development, who views life with much positivity and idealism while the old-drunk man and the old waiter who sympathizes with the former represent those in the late adulthood stage, the last stage of Erickson’s Psychosocial Theory.  ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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