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Hemingway's short story, "A Clean Well-lighted Place", happens in a cafe late at night. Two waiters are seeing their past, lingering customer, an old man, who's by now very drunk. The younger waiter's impatience and the older waiter's comprehension toward the older guy carry out the topic of the narrative: "It [life] was a nothing and a man was a nothing too." (114) Man should therefore find something to distract himself from his horrible truth. For the old man and the older waiter, "a clean and well-lighted" cafe is such an escape. The pervading metaphor in this story is , the "clean well-lighted place." The story's image of the sea of dark nothingness perfectly symbolizes a world with no hope, no solace, but darkness of reality. The lighted cafe in the sea is such an escape from the darkness of Earth. It seems the old, wealthy, deaf gentleman drinks at the cafe every light, alone, to pass time in a clean, well-lighted environment. The waiters gossip with one another about the man's attempted suicide the previous week, and speculate about other aspects of his life. The younger waiter, who has "youth", "confidence", "a job", and a wife, is impatient with the old man. He doesn't understand why the old man attempted suicide while he's got plenty of money. All he hoping is to return home to h.. .