E.M. Hemingway’s story “Old Man at the Bridge” starts with the old man sitting in “very dusty clothes” and ends with the man sitting down backwards “in the dust”. What does the “dust” signify here?
The ‘dust’ in the story symbolizes the distress of the old man who has lost his home and his pets — all he had — in the wake of the impending war. His life is now dusted. Nobody is there to help him and the narrator feels “there is nothing to do about him“. He is faced with the inevitability of death.