Discuss the Relationship Between Character and Theme in “a Clean, Well-Lighted Place”

2204 Words Nov 8th, 2010 9 Pages
Discuss the relationship between character and theme in “A Clean, Well-lighted Place”
What is the most fearful emotion? That is emotionless. What is the most troubled thing? That is nothing. What will you feel after experiencing so much crazy murder and facing unreasonable death? In Hemingway’s “A Clean, Well-lighted Place”, he shows us the loneliness, isolation, meaningless, death and futility of modern life those poor survivors of the world war one are facing through the description on the three main characters. Using his unique writing skills, Hemingway describes the character with short, plain and clean language, giving us a deep impression. Setting is one of the most important elements in “A
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It helps us understand why people will feel loneliness, isolation and meaningless of life. To develop the characters and go deep into their hearts, Hemingway also uses lots of dialogues and interior monologues. When presenting with us the dialogues, Hemingway is stingy to write many words. For example, the first conversation in the passage is like the following: “Last week he tried to commit suicide," one waiter said. "Why?" "He was in despair." "What about?” "Nothing." "How do you know it was nothing?" "He has plenty of money." (Hemingway, A Clean, Well-lighted Place)
We can see from the conversation, both the old man and the young man are aimless, emotion-less and disconnected. They lack the ability to communicate:
"He's drunk now," he said.
"He's drunk every night."
"What did he want to kill himself for?"
"How should I know."
"How did he do it?"
"He hung himself with a rope."
"Who cut him down?"
"His niece."
"Why did they do it?"
"Fear for his soul."
"How much money has he got?" "He's got plenty."
"He must be eighty years old."
"Anyway I should say he was eighty."
The young waiter describes the old man’s suicide without emotional words, all he says about old man’s suicide are “he was in despair” “nothing” “he has plenty of money”. He just describes with little empathy. There is evidence in

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