“The Old Man at the Bridge” by Ernest Hemingway presents an encounter between a first-person narrator and an old man on a bridge, during the Spanish Civil War. The story loosely follows the elements of a traditional plot, but the author’s intention is not to focus on the action, but on the consequences of war for the common people.


The title of the short story, “The Old Man at the Bridge”, tells readers that the narrative will be character-focused. We expect the story to be about an old man. The title also interests readers because we do not know at what...



The short story begins with an exposition introducing readers to the characters (the narrator and the old man) and the context of the events (a bridge across a river during war time):



The middle of the short story presents the rising action in the form of dialogue. The narrator presents the conversation between him and the old man on the bridge. Their dialogue is simple and reveals gradually that the man had to leave his town and the animals he took care of.

The narrator advises the man to keep going, but the old man is not convinced and keeps thinking about his animals:



The story ends with the narrator’s reflection on war and the old man. The falling action and resolution overlap. As the narrator and the old man part ways, the narrator realizes that the old man has very...


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