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Symbols and Symbolism in A Clean Well-Lighted Place, By Hemingway

Symbolism in A Clean Well-Lighted Place

Symbolism, may be defined as a non-superficial representation of an idea or belief that goes beyond what is “seen.” Earnest Hemingway’s “A Clean Well-Lighted Place” uses symbolism to help convey the theme of Nihilism, the philosophy that there is nothing heavenly to believe in. It discusses that there is no supernatural reason or explanation of how the world is today. Three symbols: the soldier, the café, and the shadows of the leaves, found in Hemingway’s short story clearly displays this Nihilistic theme.

The first clear display of Nihilism by the use of symbols is the brief passage description of the soldier passing the café with the prostitute. This imagery symbolizes that love and romance has been degraded to a level of “anonymous” sex. Nihilism ties into this fact that since there is no longer any form of pure love, why should a person believe in it? Hemingway uses an excellent form of symbolism to help convey this thought in referring that the street light shone on the brass number of the soldier’s collar…

Evil in Shakespeare’s Macbeth

There are two main thoughts or theories about Macbeth actually being evil, the first one being that “Macbeth was naturally evil”, and the second one being “that Macbeth was pushed into being evil.” Personally upon watching the play, I feel that Macbeth was pushed into being evil. I believe this because Macbeth had to deal with the witches whom were naturally evil and their presence really changed Macbeth for the worse.

The witches in Macbeth have one main aim really and that is to turn all good things to evil. The imagery made up by the witches is one of pure evil. Upon visiting the witches, Macbeth is manipulated by three unusual sightings, in Macbeth’s case ghosts. In the second of these sightings or visions Macbeth is tricked into a false sense of security, this occurred because of the witches telling him that he could not be harmed by anyone woman born, “For none of woman born shall harm Macbeth.” obviously Macbeth thought this meant literally everyone in the world. Macbeth then say’s “Then live, Macduff: what need I fear of thee.” Macbeth obviously not realising that Macduff technically wasn’t woman born, as his mother was dead when he was ripped from her stomach. Shakespeare uses Dramatic Irony as these words confuse Macbeth. I think that if Macbeth was to know this earlier than when he did, then this would have damaged him in a physiologic way and would have stopped him being so powerful. It is easy to see from these words that Macbeth would feel invincible and that no man could harm him. However, Macbeth fails to see the pattern or meaning between this and the first vision. This is because Macbeth is unaware of Macduff´s birth. Earlier I said that I thought that Macbeth wasn’t naturally evil, however I do think Macbeth’s wife is naturally evil. She often urges Macbeth on to do bad things, really only for her benefit. I noticed over watching the Macbeth, that Shakespeare has made Macbeth’s character as one with a lot of strong morals, however as the play went on I also noticed that Macbeth’s morals became a lot less noticeable.

Another main point that I picked up, in an R.S lesson, is that evil is not natural to the human nature and that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have to sort of persuade or trick themselves in a sort of way, in order to kill Banquo and Duncan, this is obviously because evil is not natural to us.

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