A Clean, Well-Lighted Place Questions and Answers
by Ernest Hemingway

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How does Hemingway's "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" relate directly to Ernest Hemingway's life?

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The older waiter in the story who speaks of nothingness (“it all was nada y pues nada y nada y pues nada”) reflects Hemingway's own worldview that was tempered into a belief in the nothingness of existence through the trauma and tragedy of World War I. Indeed, WWI and the Spanish Civil War instilled in Hemingway a preoccupation with suffering and dying. This preoccupation is reflected in the Old Man who sits and drinks brandy on the terrace in the lonely hours of morning following midnight. Some critics who have disliked this story associate the contrasts between the old and young waiters with what they call...

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