Winesburg Ohio is a timeless place which is full of people who will always exist no matter the time or the season. Any work done about or in this setting will always portray people who are still puttering in the streets or people who just hopes for more than their simple life trapping them in monotonous day to day activities. The story Strength of God has its setting/location based in this place and the occurrences of activities are related to the routine lives of people living in this place. A clean well lighted place is also a short story which has its origin in a Spanish speaking country. (Pinkmoney.com)A clean, well lighted place is one of the most famous works of Earnest Hemingway. Its main focus is on the pain of old age suffered by a man that we meet in a café. The author contrasts light and darkness so as to bring about the difference between the man and the young waiters who are around him. The author also uses his deafness as an image of his separation from the rest of the world. (Wall, 2011)
In our study we are going to compare and contrast the two short stories which have their setting in two different countries.
The setting of the Strength of God by Sherwood is the Presbyterian Church of Winesburg, Ohio. Anderson reportedly created his characters that were fictional from notable families in the area. The families include the Dumingers, Farrara, Wises, Crockets and Skeelses. He did this by combining the qualities of real people in this area with his fictional characters. (Pinkmoney.com) On the other hand the setting of a clean well lighted place is a café in somewhere Spain. (Or at least a Spanish speaking country). The story is set late in the night when the café is quiet. It is only two waiters, a single customer and an old man are found inside the café at that time.
The plot of the Strength of God moves evenly, revolving around a minister, in the soul of whom there is a struggle between his desires and his duty. It begins with a depiction of the pastor's steady life, then reaching a crescendo of conflicting doubts and emotion, and finally a return of steadiness at the phony realization of his absolution. The stories are centered on George Willard and the inhabitants of the town Winesburg, Ohio. On the other hand, A clean well lighted place begins at a café very late in the night. There are two waiters who stand watching their last lingering customer who is now very drunk. The story revolves around the two waiters and the old man. (Wall, 2011)
The novel Strength of God is written in the third person narrative. However towards the end of the novel, there is a dialogue scene involving George. The complexity of George’s life becomes bigger towards the end of the book. The book introduces the characters and how they are likely to develop throughout the story. This makes it easier for the readers to understand why characters behave the way they do. Some other styles used in the book include the use of images through the detailed description of each character. On the other hand, some of the styles used by Ernest Hemingway include: minimalism and repetition.
This is depicted on the way the author tells his story. It employs the use of minimum building blocks which are necessary to accomplish the mission of telling a story. He uses simple diction which are usually monosyllabic words. He also uses simple sentences and there is very little figurative language (there is no metaphor or simile). Places where minimalism appears in the book is in regard to the character and plot. The three characters in the book do not have names but we are just told of their actions. (Wall, 2011)
There are several instances of repetition in the book. Instances of repetition include when referring to the old man “who sat in the shadow the leaves of the tree made against the electric light” after a few pages the old man is the one who is still sitting in the shadow. By employing this style, Ernest Hemingway acknowledges the beauty of pattern.
Point of view
The novel Strength of God is written in the third person narrative. However, there is some dialogue that comes out towards the end of the text involving George. Also A clean, well lighted place by Ernest Hemingway is written in the third person’s point of view whereby Hemingway’s omniscient narrator may see and know all but precious little is offered for consideration. Hemingway’s work seems to have been designed to lessen the effect of a judging presence. Setting and character are barely described in the story. In most cases, third person narrator is supposed to know all and tell all but in this case the narrator strives for objectivity. The point of this style is nonetheless cut down on authorial intervention. (Wall, 2011)
The two stories are similar in some ways but also have several differences. The settings of the two stories are in different places. As the Strength of God has its setting in Ohio and it has a spiritual background, A clean, well lighted place had its setting in a Spanish Speaking Country with an amoral background where the waiters are involved in gossiping, the deaf old man just drinks anyhow and some time back attempts to commit suicide. The two stories are only similar in their methods of narration as both authors employ the use of the third person narrative. The stories are very entertaining and this keeps the reader reading.
Work cited list
“The Strength of God”. PinkMonkey.com. 5 Aug. 2007. Web. 25 Mar. 2011.
Wall, Elizabeth S. "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place." Open Computing Facility at U.C. Berkeley. Web. 25 Mar. 2011.