Life, he muses, is a great nothing and a man is a nothing as well. It is the story of two waiters having a conversation in a café, just before closing up and going home for the night. His views on life are in some ways the opposite of how the younger waiter views life. The mature waiter has much more empathy for the old man because he admires him and he understands his state of mind. In the beginning of the work the younger waiter is complaining about the old man staying at the cafe. The older waiter later displays his loneliness through his compassion for the old man and others like himself.
Trench Foot was another medical condition peculiar to trench life. While the old waiter says he likes to stay late at the cafe with all those who do not want to go to bed and who need light for the night. The light is very good. Hemingway does not go into the mind of any characters but… 511 Words 2 Pages named Ernest Hemingway is a person who has suffered a lot throughout his years. There are seven-eights of it under water for every part that shows. . How lonely the old man may be is further noticeable by his desire, while sitting at the café, to get drunk.
Nearby, two waiters, one young, the other older, talk about him. The old man asks for another brandy and one of the waiters brings it to him. After all, he said to himself, it is probably only insomnia. The clean well-lighted café has a much deeper meaning for the old man and mature waiter than it does for the younger waiter. At no stage in the story is there a sense that the younger waiter is able to connect or relate to the old man. He may have been married at one time. If all is meaningless and insignificant, one can feel isolated, adrift, and completely alone.
Throughout the story there is also a continued sense of connection, or at least attempts at connection. He was probably drunk and alone in his house when he tried to commit suicide. The older waiter goes on further to illustrate that all he has is work. It was not fear or dread. The younger waiter, or antagonist, is seen from the same perspective as the old man, which was bias to the favor of the old man.
Hemingway also appears to be using symbolism in the story. Ending: It is a plotless story but the end of the story leaves an indelible effect on the reader. Unlike the older waiter, the younger waiter is full of youth and confidence, two things that the old man and older waiter lack. The older waiter jokingly asks if the younger waiter is afraid to go home early. The old man attempted suicide the week before and seeks refuge now in the 'clean well-lighted' cafe. Another issue that we see in this story is that Krebs has lost his ability to love and feel for people; however we do see a lot of caring for his younger sister when he agrees to go watch her pitch.
Most people may not realize it but that is why they talk to bartenders, they are always agreeable and nice. He wrote this short story after experiencing the horrors of World War I. One interesting aspect of this story is the fact that the original edition of it seemed to mix up the lines of dialogue between the young and the middle-aged waiters in multiple places. In every stage of our lives, a new purpose unfolds and it is up to us to do something about it and make our lives more productive. He realizes a garish bar will not suffice for these asylum seekers. The intensity of the prose is stressed by abjuring both density and rhetoric.
The cafe represents their friend something that is there when they need it and gives them an opportunity to engage with other people. All I am saying is that nothing can justify suicide. War a lot of times will give people a spiritual awakening, but in this case he has lost all respect for religion. In the original story, the reader would not be able to distinguish between the two waiters. The pattern of contrast between the characters of the younger and the older waiters rapidly gathers momentum as the story forges ahead with the alternation of its narrative and dialogues.
Their lack of confidence does not let them defeat the overwhelming darkness in their lives. A clean, well-lighted place, instead of a dark, unclean bar or a bodega which may only intensifies loneliness. During this time, there were several literary critics concerned with the dialogue inconsistencies. Hemingway was a bright man, who loved writing. Unlike the young waiter who treats the old man with loathing and irritation, even saying at one point 'You should have killed yourself last week,' the older waiter expresses a deep understanding of the old man's suffering, and of that kind of human suffering in general. One is anxious to get home to his wife, while the other sympathizes with the old man sitting at the table. Just like the mass of a iceberg which lies beneath the surface, the crux of the story lies below the surface.
The old man pays and walks away. He may attempt to impose his own set of meanings and values on himself, but ultimately, Hemingway implies, he will fail and slip into the realization that life is nothing and he is nothing. In both stories we sympathize with the characters because we all feel alone at some point in our lives. As his stress kept increasing, depression started gaining. In public, you can talk to someone or meet someone probably on the same boat, suffering the same loneliness. The reader discovers that the old man is deaf. Look at what happened to the old customer.
Another way to analyze the difference between the two waiters is how they view life. I am not saying that rich people has no problems because probably they have worse problems than common people have. Darkness is a symbol of loneliness, despairs, death and nothingness of man. Plot Overview An old man sits alone at night in a café. It is also interesting that the old man still wishes that his life was over as this further suggests or highlights the idea of despair.