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A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place


by Ernest Hemingway

Analysis: Narrator Point of View

Who is the narrator, can she or he read minds, and, more importantly, can we trust her or him?

Third Person Omniscient

We as readers have a privileged position here – Hemingway's omniscient third person narration allows us to see what's happening both inside and outside of the character's minds. We get hints of what's happening with the younger waiter and the old man (for example, we know that the old man can feel the difference when it's silent, and that the younger waiter isn't actually a bad guy, he's just in a hurry). More significantly, though, we get a close look at the inside of the older waiter's mind, where the true meaning of the story is revealed.

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