A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

Theme: Is human life nothing? What is the contrast between youth and old age and the states of being hurried versus unhurried? How are those distinctions related to the question of whether there is a difference between those who need a clean, well-lighted place and those who do not?

Hills Like White Elephants

Theme: How do human beings confront a crisis?

Two people walk into a Spanish bar and hilarity ensues… or more like have an existential crisis.

Why does the protagonist repeat herself? She doesn’t feel heard? Or, is he not saying what she wants him to stay? Man = problem solver stereotype. Woman = talk through it and be heard stereotype.

Is this a question of intolerance? On one hand, why does one character need to adhere to the requests of the other and not vice versa.

She will say things then take them back. She will say something, he will infer a yes, and she will not want to hear it:

  • We can have all of this
  • Yes we can
  • No, we can’t

Two people dancing and no one wants to take the lead. Real decision on pregnancy need to be made.


Notes Sources:

Hills Like White Elephants
Combat and Classics, Ep. 24: Hemingway’s "Hills Like White Elephants"
Apple Podcasts
A Clean, Well-Lighted Place
[Combat and Classics, Ep. 19: Hemingway Hemingway’s "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" (
Apple Podcasts