One is anxious to get home to his wife, while the other sympathizes with the old man sitting at the table. Hemmingway believe that there is no life after we die. He tried to hang himself, but his niece found him and cut him down. The old waiter tells the young waiter that the old drunk tried to kill himself last week. The interaction of the characters in the cafe provides an insight to their thoughts and attitude towards life. It was all nothing and a man was nothing. A young waiter is impatient and unsympathetic of the old man's needs, but the young man's older coworker provides a deeper understanding and human kindness.
They view the cafe from same perspective, for they are experiencing similar feelings. The light symbolizes the life as opposite of the dark which mean death. Emotions like love, hatred, jealousy, pride, despair, loneliness and anger are portrayed through the characters. Hemingway also appears to be using light in the story as symbolism. That the old man is drunk and prone to leaving without paying suggests that he might be troubled. Every existence has its meaning and you just have to find it.
The old man attempted suicide the week before and seeks refuge now in the 'clean well-lighted' cafe. The older waiter said because people need it, but the younger waiter said that it useless. The old man chose the clean lighted cafe© instead of a dark, messy dodge to delve into his sloppy alcoholic slumber in order to mask his feelings of insanity and darkness that brews inside of his lonely soul. In this story, Hemingway expresses this nihilistic doubt by repeatedly using the words 'nothing' and 'nada'. The older waiter goes on further to illustrate that all he has is work. It could be symbolic of his fears and the darkness that surrounded Hemmingway as his disease progressed.
When he finishes the prayer, the old waiter smiles and gets a drink at a nearby bar. He aims to spend more time in the cafe instead of going to his home where loneliness prevails over him. After the younger waiter go home, older waiter still argue with himself about the life, and he prefer pray to the nada or nothingness than to the god. I am not saying that rich people has no problems because probably they have worse problems than common people have. Contrast The contrast in the setting of the cafe and the world of old people aids in depicting the sorrow and suffering of the old people. It focuses on individuals finding a reason for living within themselves.
Here, in this well-lighted cafe, the light is a manmade symbol of man's attempt to hold off the darkness — not permanently, but as late as possible. The reader discovers that the old man is deaf. His experiences left hime filled with doubt. Because from the beginning until the end of the story the old waiter still agree with the old man. The whole entire story displays sure examples of symbolism, right down to the title which describes what every one of us looks for in our lives, a clean well- lighted place to hide the messy dark bodega that lurks inside of us. What then is the theme of this story? The deaf man and the old waiter view the cafe in a perspective which differs from the outlook of the young waiter. Young people fail to realize the significance of well-lighted and clean place in the life of old people, battling with despair.
Hemingway depicts the old waiter as kind, dignified, and wise in his belief that, since life is meaningless, one must prioritize being comfortable and dignified above all else. Modern writers confronted this doubt in many different ways. The story includes characters that serve as vessels for his own emotions. The old drunk waves the young waiter over and asks for another glass of brandy. He asks the younger waiter to be patient and let the old man stay longer but ultimately gives in and allows the younger waiter to force the old man to leave. At no stage in the story is there a sense that the younger waiter is able to connect or relate to the old man.
It is this different attitude of the young waiter that makes him to treat the cafe just as a place where people came to satisfy their drinking needs. This story could be symbolic of Hemmingway own progression through the various alcoholic stages. The narration communicates the personality of the older waiter. A few of these properties include his impatient behavior and ignorance to the mental state of this one patron. The waiters know that the old man is trying to suicide last week, but he fails because his niece cut the rope. This man is sitting in cafe where there are two waiters sitting waiting for him to leave.
Realizing this, he leaves the bar and goes home. He recognises himself in the old man and he knows his own life is lonely. Deaf, he can feel the quietness of the nighttime and the café, and although he is essentially in his own private world, sitting by himself in the café is not the same as being alone. He too is as lonely as the old man and if anything he seems to realise that the same fate awaits him as does the old man, that being remaining alone. It was first published in 1926, and later included in his 1933 collection, Winner Take Nothing. The old waiter is shown to be empathetic, since he carefully considers what led the old drunk to attempt suicide the week before, imagining what it must be like to be 80 and without a wife. Because the old waiter understands the importance of small pleasures, he is sympathetic toward an old drunk who likes to stay up late drinking at his café.
In the Ernest Hemingway short story A Clean, Well-Lighted Place we have the theme of loneliness, despair, escape, connection and nihilism. This behavior continues in the scene when he tells the old man that he should of died last week during his suicide attempt, while he fills his glass again with brandy. It is proof that we mask things on the outside to hide the feelings that we feel deep inside. Throughout the story there is also a continued sense of connection, or at least attempts at connection. It is believed by the waiters that he has plenty of money. The young waiter remarks that the man must be eighty years-old, and then he complains again about the late hour. Perhaps this story was written with a direct relation and foreshadowing to what Hemmingway saw unfolding because of his own dark passenger.