Analysis of The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Analysis of "The Sun Also Rises" by Ernest Hemingway
Known to be one of the greatest writers of our century, Ernest Hemingway has written such literary masterpieces such as, The Sun Also Rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and possibly his most famous, A Farewell to Arms. While Hemingway has exemplified his uncanny ability in his novels, he also wrote wonderful short stories such as “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”. This short story takes place in a pleasant café in an urban location. The story circulates around three main characters, the old man, the old waiter, and the young waiter. The characters in all of his writings are multi-dimensional and have distinct personalities. “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” illustrates the devastating effects of loneliness through the character of the old man and the old waiter.
The old man who is a regular at the café and drinks until the early morning hours is clearly Hemingway’s symbol for loneliness in this story. His sorrow and solitude are apparent throughout the whole story especially towards the beginning. The two waiters tending to the deaf old man ridicule and explain the pain and sorrow the old man is experiencing, “`Last week he tried to commit suicide…He should have killed himself last week`” (41). These two sentences do all the explaining needed to tell the reader about the old man. The old man is so lonely that he feels that by killing himself he will be escaping his sorrows, but a failed suicide attempt leads him to alcohol for a temporary escape from the pain of his life. The old man’s feeling of loneliness is most likely closely related the when the old waiter says, “`He had a wife once too`” (42). This statement leads the reader to believe that the loss of the old man’s wife is the source of his anguish and thus why he is so unhappy.
While Hemingway does a great job having the waiters talk about the old man’s sorrows, he purposely implements lines where the loneliness of the waiters can be seen as well. The younger waiter who seems to be content with his life is annoyed at how long the old man is staying around because he has someone waiting for him, “`He’s lonely, I’m not lonely, I have a wife waiting in bed for me`” (42). While...