Study Guide

The Old Man in Ballad of the Sad Cafe and Other Stories

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The Old Man

Though it's clear the old man likes his drink—he's nursing a beer at dawn in an all-night café —what's unclear is whether he's full of it, or insane. Whether or not you believe in his theories about love, you've got to give him points for originality. Plus, like the boy says, "he sure has done a lot of traveling" (Tree.98). That's certainly a statement open to interpretation.

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