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Nothingness in A Clean Well-Lighted Location by Ernest Hemingway Man is often plagued by the question of his very own presence. Existentialism is a subjective doctrine that's centered upon the evaluation of man's presence, emphasizing the liberation, obligation, and normally the privacy of the person. It focuses on people finding a reason for residing inside themselves. The philosophy compels man to make decisions for himself, on the premise that nothing is preordained, there's no fate. Men need to find a fact in themselves, a truth that they have to have the ability to live for. Existentialism is in harsh contrast to some belief in a higher power or a god. "A sterile, Well-Lighted Place" is a story by Ernest Hemingway about men in consecutive phases in the philosophy of existentialism, revealing how the philosophy will neglect them. Nothingness is a condition man is faced with if his life has no significance, whenever there is no reason to exist. It is the hollowness or emptiness man experiences when he feels his life has no significant meaning. When there is nothing to believe in, then life is nothing. The older waiter in the story recognizes the existence of nothing: "Some lived in it and never felt it but he knew it all was nada y pues nada y pues nada y pues nada" (202). As existentialists, men are made to make all decisions in their lives for themselves, with nothing to believe in except for the positive consequence of their choices. Existentialists are plagued with dread over their prospective confrontation with nothingness, an anxiety that includes the impossibility of locating ultimate justification for the choices they need to make. By comparison, men of religious faith have very little fear of nothingness since they believe that there's a reason behind decisions they make based on the intent of their higher power. Light, cleanliness and order play important roles in the story. The artificial light and decent order of the caf represent the truth, or reason for existence, that the existential man has created for himself. Darkness, in contrast, represents the nothingness of life. The soldier in the story is a good example of the first stage of existentialism in Hemingway's denunciation of the philosophy. The soldier does not believe in a greater power, nor does he recognize the presence of nothingness. What he does know is that ther...