The younger waiter and the older waiter in Ernest Hemingway’s “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” have different attitudes towards the old man. The story is a snapshot of two waiters discussing an elderly patron who comes to the café late at night for a drink. The main difference between the two waiters is their attitude towards life itself.
In “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” compare the younger waiter and the older waiter in their attitudes toward the old man.
The younger waiter has no patience for the old man and does not care about his feelings or situation—all he cares about is getting home as soon as possible. He complains bitterly about having to stay late to serve an old customer and says, “Hombre [the old man] must be crazy.” His primary concern is himself rather than any concern for what might be going on in his life. He is dismissive when thinking of him, treating him more like an inconvenience than anything else.
In contrast, the older waiter holds a great deal of compassion for the elderly gentleman and understands that he may need something beyond just another drink. He speaks kindly about him saying things like “He had no luck” regarding his loneliness or “An old man was out in this dew” when it’s clear how little protection from nature he has on a cold night. Hemingway emphasizes how much patience this elder has by noting that they let him sit in the cafe until three o’clock in morning without complaint or intrusion from them because they understand his solitude even if they are not familiar with its cause. The barmen also indicate that “he liked it better than other cafes” suggesting there may be some comfort found within these walls which neither character can provide anywhere else outside of here so late at night–an understanding which only serves to deepen both characters empathy further due to their shared experience within this space being time which could otherwise easily feel wasted away into nothingness alone instead being commuted together even if through simple observation of one another’s lives rather than direct communication between them all entirely removed from real connection with others but still able enjoy its proximity vicariously through those around you.
Despite these differences in opinion between them both characters ultimately share common purpose: help alleviate pain by providing comfort where available; whether physically present or merely offered through understanding when it’s most needed–a small reminder that we are never truly alone even amongst our own struggles not matter how distant we may feel from others during difficult times as long someone willing show us kindness always remain waiting patiently just beneath surface ready offer whatever assistance possible whenever called upon regardless thing!