A Clean, Well-Lighted Place by Ernest Hemingway

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In "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" by Hemingway, what does the café represent for the two waiters?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The younger waiter is fairly straightforward in his implied expressions of what the café represents for him. He has a wife, he has confidence, and he has a livelihood. The café both is and represents his job. On a more complex level, the café also might be said to represent his confidence. If it were not for his job, he would be out of work, his wife may reject him and he may waste his youth in searching or in despair. But for now with youth, confidence, a wife and a job, the café represents his life and his future--also that which keeps him up until 3 o'clock.

It is far more complicated to say what the café...

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lorsennguyen | Student

to the young waiter, the cafe is a place where he can earn money to support his family.

to the old waiter and the old man, the cafe is the a refuge for them to take, and helps them decrease the despair od loneliness. it also the only place that they can go, and can give them little warmness.

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