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Paper Topic:

W131 writing with a lens

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Writing with a Lens

The message of the short story titled A Clean , Well-lighted place ' by Ernest Hemingway is that with age comes a better understanding of the troubles of others . The story centers on the opposing reactions of two waiters of different age groups towards a troubled old man who seek a nightly refuge in a clean and well-lighted cafy . The old man visits the clean and well-lighted cafy every night to drink . The cafy had been his source of nightly refuge from

his troubles possibly because it is comforting and peaceful so that it is good for easing the knots of confusion on his head , unlike the bars that have blazing light and noisy music . In this way , he can drink his troubles away peacefully Meanwhile , the younger waiter resents the fact that the old man stays too long in the cafy , forcing him to go home at 3 :00 o 'clock in the morning and delaying the time for him to be with his wife . He told the old man , perhaps out of resentment or irritation rather than ill will that he should have killed himself last week (for he had known that the old man almost committed suicide . The younger waiter , however , could not comprehend why the old man should kill himself when he had plenty of money . Obviously , he believed that money is enough reason to make one desire to live in this world . The older waiter however , is sympathetic towards the old man for he himself had started to feel the emptiness or nothingness of life . He had not shared with the younger waiter 's sentiment that the old man had no reason to take his own life because he had plenty of money . It is safe to assume that with his age , he had already seen so much of life that his perspectives on life are so much different now than he was younger . He had admired the younger waiter 's youth and confidence , two qualities that can make any man hopeful about life . He recognized that it is not the presence or absence of money that matters now , but the inner conflict of the soul had plunged the old man to despair so that he wants to shorten his rather ironically long life .Meanwhile , the critical essay titled Who is American ' by Eric Foner allows me to read the text differently . This essay is about the changing concept of American identity in American history . The problem of defining American citizenship or Americaness ' lays on its inclusive ' and exclusive ' ideas of who should be an American (Foner , 186 . The difficulty arose because of the presence of many diverse groups of people (with its own unique physical characteristics and culture ) in American soil that seeks to enjoy the rights and privileges accorded in American citizenship . However , conflicts arise because of the differing views held by the groups of people involved for example , the white had a notion for racial...

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