In "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” by Ernest Hemingway, his short story set in a 1930’s Spanish café ,three nameless men compromise the body of the story as narrated in the third person. An The three nameless men are an older deaf patron, a young, married, andand irreverent waiter, and his more mature and earnest colleague. Hemingway uses these characters to construct his prose with the focus on the callow youth’s indifference towardscontempt and indifference towards the old as contrasted by the humility and dignity shown by the two older men.
The old, deaf man sits alone, the only patron on the terrace at the café, late in the evening as he has on many previous nightsnight’s enjoying his brandy in the silent shadows, this too to the annoyance of the younger hurried waiter. A week earlier the old deaf man had tried to kill himself but his niece saved him, as casually mentioned by one waiter and discussed by both. None the less, both the waiters agree that the old man is a good client, but does sometime forget to pay and needs to be watched. The old deaf patron tapped his saucer “What do you want?” the young hurried waiter asks “another brandy” in reply.
Consequently, the young, hurried, waiter responds with indifference and contempt to the patrons request and responds “You’ll be drunk” the young waiter responds as he walks away as the old deaf manold deaf man looks looks at him.
Consequently, the inconvenienced Inconvenienced, the young hurried waiter continues to complain too the older waiter that the café’s sole patron, the old deaf man “[will] stay all night “and mockingly states, “I’m sleepy now. I never get into bed before three o’clock. He should have killed himself last week.” The waiter then hurriedly marches to the old manspatrons table with his brandy. Just However, before pouring the man his drink he repeats his previous callous and selfish statement in deference too theto the old deaf gentleman, “ You should have killed yourself last week.” After the callous young waiter hurriedly poured pours the old manspatrons drink the deaf manpatron kindly acknowledged acknowledged the service with, “Thank You.” Returning to his colleague seated at a table the young waiter continues his complaints about the only patron in the house as if his only customer was a nuisance and inconvenience. “He’s drunk now,” ”He’s drunk every night,” once again repeating “I wish he would go home. I never get to bed before three o’clock. What kind of hour is that to go to bed?” his His older colleague responds, “He stays up because he likes it” Just just as I do.
Once again, In characterthinking only of himself, the young, over confident waiter with his arrogance being directed at the lives the older men, the live, the young waiter replies quips “He’s lonely, I’m not lonely, Iand I have a wife waiting in bed for me.” His older colleague informs him that the old man was once married as well,well; responding with his callow indifferencealoofness the hurried waiter says “ A wife would be no good to him now.” His earnest older colleague questions that statement, and replies that the old deaf manpatron might be better off with a wife. But, he does acknowledges that the old man is now being cared for by his niece because of his age and poor health. the one that saved him from his suicide attempt
Continuing to disparage as the waiters had discussed earlier in the evening.the old, With and particularly his contempt disrespectful and demeaning language directed at the old patron, the young waiter states “I know.” “I wouldn’t want to be that old. An old man is a nasty thing.” As usual, the older more compassionate waiter replies “Not Alwaysalways” as the older waiter defends the deaf man “ This old man is clean. He drinks without spilling. Even now, drunk. Look at him.” The young hurried waiter would not, but insisted that “[the old deaf man] has no regard for those that work.”…