A Clean, Well-Lighted Place by Ernest Hemingway

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What is the tone and style of "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place"?

What is the tone and style of "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place"?

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The tone of "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" by American writer Ernest Hemingway is a matter-of-fact, direct tone. It is an unbiased reporting by Hemingway of this story stored in his mind, as if it was a real incident and he was relaying “Just the facts ma’am.” (With apologies to Jack Webb on the TV series Dragnet).

Hemingway is reporting, dryly and without emotion, a moment in time in a café one night. The tone is almost deadpan, as if told by a poker player with a straight face not wanting to reveal anything, especially emotion or any sense of real concern.

The style of "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" is one of unembellished discourse. It is a factual account of what is happening in this clean café. It does not mean that this is a true account, though.

Hemingway, through the eyes of the two waiters is giving a factual account of what is happening in the moment in the cafe. Nevertheless, do the waiters really know the whole truth about this old man? Do they really know the truth of his...

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