The interpretation of the American Dream is often misleading as Hemingway verifies in his short story, A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. Overcoming the formal limitations of short stories, Hemmingway substantiates three concepts?age, death, and solitude? in connection to the demise of the American Dream. During the 1920s, America entered a thriving age full of hope and expectation as a product of the aftermath of World War I. This story centers on the interactions of an old man, a young waiter, and an older waiter in the setting of a clean, well-lighted diner and their views on life and death in the 1920s. The waiters reflect on the life of the deafened old man and ponder their own notions about their own life and existence. Ernest Hemingway creates a motif of deafness within the story through the lack of adjectives and specific indication to the speaker of the dialogues to display the effects of differentiation in relation to the old man and society. Hemingway uses third-person omniscient point of view to create a deafened perception, along with a direct, striking tone to construct an intangible view between man and time to enlighten both the youth and elderly generation that old age and mortality is inevitable.Through the presence of the soldier and the girl, Hemingway evokes an indication of the cultural and mental dissatisfaction of the beaten, post-World War I Western world and the “lost generation.” Being published around the end of World War I, Hemingway associates this story together with evidences from the war. He writes as he describes the surrounding of the diner, “A girl and a soldier went by in the street. The street light shone on the brass number on his collar,” to postulate the war through the soldier. The street li…
…reward to happiness which will eventually lead to a path of loneliness and ultimately death.
Bennett, Warren. “Character, Irony, and Resolution in “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”” American Literature 42.1 (1970): 70-79. JSTOR. Web. 02 Mar. 2012. .Kroeger, F. B. “The Dialogue in “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”” College English 20.5 (1959): 240-41. JSTOR. Web. 04 Mar. 2012. .Oates, Joyce Carol. The Oxford Book of American Short Stories, Ed. by Joyce Carol Oates. New-York: Oxford UP, 1992. Print.Shmoop Editorial Team. “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 4 Mar. 2012.”The Lost Generation.” The Lost Generation: American Writers of the 1920’S. Web. 04 Mar. 2012. .