What is the moral lesson of the story "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" by Ernest Hemingway?

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Each of the three characters in "A Clean Well-Lighted Place" by Ernest Hemingway is in a different stage of life: the young waiter, the older waiter, and the old man. As in any work, several possible themes emerge; one of the prominent themes in this story is that we (mankind) will all age ourselves into despair and nothingness.

The young waiter is impatient with the old man who comes in to drink at this late-night cafe will not leave because the waiter wants to go home. He has no patience with the old man who is deaf and old and tried to commit suicide last week; the old man is drinking too much and too slowly to suit the impatient young waiter who just wants to go home. The young waiter thinks that happiness comes from having money and thinks the old man should have gone ahead and killed himself. He says, "I wouldn't want to be that old. An old man is a nasty thing." The young man has reasons to live, for now, and gives no consideration to...

(The entire section contains 544 words.)

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