In Ernest Hemingway's story, "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,"" there are three main characters that play very important roles in this story. There is the young waiter, the older waiter, and the old man. These three men are important to the story because in a way they're symbolic to what the story portrays. They each represent different stages in a person's life and this makes the story more effective. The three of these characters all have some similarities as well as differences that draw out a perfect picture of how different age groups in society tend to view the same thing in different ways.
To begin, there is the young waiter. He is symbolizing the youth in society. He seems to be self involved and unconcerned with other people's feelings. He knows that the old man has nowhere else to go and that he is sad and lonely. However, instead of the waiter being sympathetic to this, he instead complains about how late it is and all he wants to do is kick the old man out of the café so that he can go home. He is the portrait of the youth in society because younger people are commonly less concerned with other people beside themselves and they put their feelings before anyone else's. The young waiter fits all these characteristics when he finally kicks the old man out knowing that all the old man wanted to do was sit there and have a few drinks, but he wanted to go home and do what he wanted instead and that seemed more important to the young waiter.
Next, is the older waiter. He seems to be an example of the middle-aged people of society. When you've lived a little longer, you start to become more appreciative of things and have sympathy for people who aren't as fortunate as you may be. The older waiter is the only one out of the two that wants to let the old man stay in the café. He knows that the old man has no one and that all he wants is to sit in a "clean, well-lighted place- and have a few drinks where he may feel a little bit of belonging.