Wednesday, August 27, 2008
A Clean, Well-Lighted Place
This is a thought-provoking short story that primarily involves a discussion between two waiters working in a cafe in what is presumably Spain. They discussed an deaf old man who apparently sat at the cafe getting drunk until very late at night. The background and most of the story itself are told completely in dialogue, with little narrative action. The only narrated parts are sensory details and imagery. The characters in this story all remain completely nameless, from "the old man" to "the unhurried waiter", the story gives them names by using relevant descriptions of their prominent traits. The story seems to imply that the older people get, the more depressed and lonely they get; with the older waiter having insomnia and the old man being suicidal. It is not overtly clear or presented what the meaning of the "well-lighted place" is. Perhaps the light provides a place of respite for the disenchanted.