Hemingway's "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place-.
At first notice, Hemingway's short story "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place- seems to stray somewhat from his usual work. Being mostly dialog, this story does not have many of the long and in-depth sentences that have to be read several times before the true meaning is understood, like much of Hemingway's other stories have. But despite the lack of length, this story is certainly very in-depth and requires much more than a quick reading to comprehend all that Hemingway wants us to. .
Because the context of the story is primarily conversation, there is no doubt that the most important aspect of the story is the characters. The drunken old man and both the waiters are all very different in the way they live their lives. They are of different ages, have been through different events, and are at different experience levels with most of life's journeys. In having so many views in such a short story, Hemingway allows for conflict to take place, and this creates an interesting tale. .
Most of the conflict in the story takes place between the two waiters who work at the café where the story takes place. The younger waiter is the spark of the conflict and his personality and mood are what do so. This waiter is impatient throughout the story as he continuously speaks of his "wife waiting in bed- (97) for him and of the fact that the hour is too late for him not to be at home. But although he is impatient, he never fully loses his temper. He becomes short with both the older waiter and his only customer, drunken old man, several times, but he always manages to remain in control. This impatience is obvious early in the story when he shows no hospitality or professionalism toward the old man in the café, barking at him, "What do you want?- (96), and again with the older waiter when the younger waiter is reluctant to discuss why he was rude to the old man.