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A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place


by Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man Timeline and Summary

  • The old man sits alone at the café, getting drunk, and feeling the silence.
  • He taps his glass to summon one of the waiters; the younger waiter goes over and the old man asks for another brandy.
  • We're not sure how much the old man understands of what the younger waiter says, since he is deaf.
  • The younger waiter pours another glass of brandy, and the old man asks him to top off his glass.
  • The old man thanks the waiter. The two waiters watch him from the café, noticing that he drinks without spilling a drop, even when he's drunk.
  • The old man looks away for a moment, then asks for another brandy. When the younger waiter refuses and says they're closing up, the old man gets up, carefully pays, and walks away.