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A Stylistic Analysis Of A Clean, Well Lighted Place

3051 words - 13 pages


A stylistic Analysis of A Clean, Well-lighted Place

Abstract: Hemingway’s narrative method, like his prose style, was direct and terse. It was his aim to project people living within the framework of the action of the story, and stripped of unnecessary exterior reference or comment on the part of an all-knowing author. This essay will give the comments on Hemingway’s fiction style from several aspects (his short story: A Clean, Well-lighted Place as example).

Key words: Hemingway fiction style

â… . Brief account of the author
Ernest Hemingway (Miller) (b. July 21, 1899, Oak Park, Ⅰ11., U.S. —d.July 2.
1961, Ketchum, Idaho) ...view middle of the document...

In theme, construction, style, and all-pervasive humanity, this remains one of the greatest achievements of a very great novelist.

â…¡. Brief account of the passage
A Clean, Well-lighted Place, this story does not have a plot, and at first glance it seems to be little more than a loose sketch: an old man leaves a café late at night; two waiters talk while closing up, one waiter stops for a cup of coffee on the way home and does not sleep until morning.

â…¢. Major theme of the passage
On closer examination, the story proves to be heavily symbolic. It is one of Hemingway’s most compact stories, in which he presents two contrasting attitudes to life. It speaks about loneliness, which Hemingway considered to be the principal tragedy of modern life. “Nothing”. This is the key word of this story. The young waiter simply means that the old man had no reason to kill himself because he was not poor. Poverty, in his opinion, would be the only excuse for suicide. Hemingway, however, gives the word “Nothing” a deeper meaning as the story unfolds. Nothing, i.e. no hope, no close, loving friendship, no truth or meaning in life, was in fact the exact reason for the old man’s attempted suicide.

â…£. Linguistic presentation of the theme
A. Lexical features
Hemingway’s stylistic experiments include the method of conveying the impression of Spanish speech and idiom, usually by giving a Spanish phrase and then repeating it in a rather literal English translation. Such as: square (also plaza) an open square or market-place, esp. in a Spanish town. peseta: the basic Spanish monetary unit, 100 centimos.hombre: Spanish for “man”. This is a friendly from of address bodegas: Spanish for “wine cellars”. nada pues nada: Spanish for “nothing and then nothing”. otro loco mas: Spanish for “little cup”.
B. Syntactic features
1) Repetition
“Nothing”, this word always appeared showing the theme of this story.
2) Loose Structure
The feature making me a deep impression in the work of Hemingway is his language, which is very easy to understand and mostly the sentences are loose structure. The author didn’t need to use complicated sentences and flower words to express his idea. Instead, the plain sentences and words make the story more accessible to the readers. The story that the author is telling us is like the daily incidents happening around us.
C. Semantic features /figures of speech
1) Euphemism
“Have you no fear of going home before your usual hour?” The old waiter jokingly teases the young one by implying that he might find his wife with another man if he went home sooner than expected.
Paradox and irony
“You should have killed yourself last week.” The young waiter is not really being cruel when he says that sentence. He knows the old man cannot hear him. He is only annoyed by the inconvenience the old man has caused him. He compensates for his words by filling the old man’s glass to...

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