Ernest Hemingway is known as one of the best writers of our time. He has a unique writing style in which he manipulates the English language to use the minimum amount of words and maximize the impression on the reader. A Clean, Well-Lighted Place is a prime example of this. Here, Ernest Hemingway uses his writing style to reinforce the theme of "Nada." The setting is simple, the characters are plain, and the dialogues among them are short and to the point. It is with the absence of similes and metaphors that the reader is able to appreciate the work for what it is. Ernest Hemingway does not feel the need to give much detail on the setting.
The reader knows that it is late and that these men are in a caf'e. The main character is sitting in the shadow and he is drinking brandy. Hemingway leaves out details from the setting but does make it clear that this caf'e is, like the title suggest, clean and well-lighted. He only states important aspects of the setting demonstrating that details are nothing: nad a.
Through his writing Hemingway implies that this old man feels that little details in the world mean nothing. When the older waiter asks the younger waiter why this drunken man had tried to commit suicide a week before, the younger waiter simply answers "Nothing. He has plenty of money." In the young waiters mind this old man has everything. Obviously, this old man feels that things like money are nothing and thus not worth living over. Ernest Hemingway, through the lack of details, demonstrates that details are nothing and therefore not worth inputting, strengthening the nad a theme. Hemingway also strategically fails to name these characters.
A name is what gives each individual their identity. Without it, a person is just another person. Consequently, since it is not known what these men are called, they are just another group of men in this world. The older waiter states "It was all a nothing and a man was nothing too." Hemingway, leaving these characters nameless, reveals that human beings are nothing.
It does not matter what these two old men do because at the end of the day they are still worthless. If and when they die, the world will not be impacted because they are nad a. Instead of using a complex dialogue, Ernest Hemingway chooses to keep it simple. These characters don't really have much to say. The old man, whom the story is about, speaks only once to ask for more brandy. Most of the dialogue is between the waiters.
Even then, Hemingway chooses to use simple sentence structures. Each sentence is short and to the point. One waiter asks a question the other gives a direct response. With not much of a conversation going on, the reader feels a heavy silence in the air. There is nothing going on.
Therefore there is nothing to talk about. All in all, Ernest Hemingway is truly a mastermind. He manipulates words to its simplest form yet conveys a strong message. A Clean, Well-Lighted Place shows his great ability.
Even with a simple setting, nameless characters, and to the point dialogues, he is able to convey with much strength that everything is simply nothing.