A Clean, Well-Lighted Place
Character Role Analysis
Of the three men here, we get to know the older waiter the best, and we are certainly the most sympathetic to him. While there isn't a terribly dramatic conflict present in this story, we do see the older waiter pitted against the younger waiter, whose youthful arrogance is unable to damage the almost Zen-like calm of the older man. The older waiter is in a transitional period in his life, between the days of happy contentment that the younger waiter embodies, and the absolute loneliness of the old man; the older waiter is a sort of Everyman, who represents a transition that we'll all go through someday, according to Hemingway.