© 2015 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

CHECK OUT SHMOOP'S FREE STUDY TOOLS: Essay Lab | Math Shack | Videos

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

  

by Ernest Hemingway

Analysis: Setting

Where It All Goes Down

A clean, well-lighted café, somewhere in Spain (we think)

The setting is key here, especially since we have very little else to go on. The café is – as you might imagine, clean. Oh yeah, and well-lighted. It's a pleasant café, and the light creates the shadows of leaves at night. The story is set late at night, and the café is quiet; only the two waiters and a single customer, the old man, sit there. Other than that, we actually don't know anything about the place. We can guess that it's in Spain, or at least in a Spanish-speaking country (Hemingway had a real thing for Spain, especially at this point in his life, so that's our guess). The location doesn't matter, though – actually, nothing else matters. This café could be anywhere, at any time. The specifics aren't important at all, and we just have to know that this is a good place to be on a dark lonely night.

The older waiter also briefly stops at a bar on his way home; the bar, though pleasant and well-lit, isn't clean enough for his liking, and he doesn't linger there, choosing instead to return to his lonely home.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement