What are the similarities between Old Man and the Sea and A Clean Well Lighted Place by Ernest Hemingway?i need to compare and contrast so what are some significant comparisons between the 2 storys?

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mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both men live alone; they have no living wives.  The old man in the Well Lighted Place, according to the old waiter, is a widower, and he drinks there alone, out of despair.  Santiago is also a widower, but he has a daughter who checks in on him from time to time.

Both men are on the opposite ends of heroism.  The old man in the Well Lighted Place is a heroic drunk, while Santiago is a heroic fisherman and a Christ-figure.  He even has a disciple: Manolin.

Both men suffer quietly.  The old man in the Well Lighted Place suffers quietly, neatly, hardly spilling a drop of his drink, symbolic of his resignation and angst.  Santiago also suffers alone on the boat, trying to fend off the sharks in order to save his prized marlin.

Both men confront the unknowable.  The waiters in the Well Lighted Place speak of "nada"--nothing and nothingness.  This is the existentialism of Sartre, who found existence in a Godless universe problematic.  Santiago likewise attempts to fathom the depths of the sea, and his brother marlin rises from its majestic depths only to be devoured by sharks.

edumacated | Student

the old man in A Clean Well Lighted Place isnt the main character though, the depressed waiter is.

-i may be a little late with this post...

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The Old Man and the Sea

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