I chose to read and write about Hemingway's "A Clean Well-Lighted Place". Here is a summary of what happens. Two waiters in a Spanish café are waiting one night for their last customer, an old man, to leave. As they wait, they talk about the old man's recent suicide attempt. The younger waiter is impatient to leave and tells the dead old man he wishes the suicide attempt had been successful. The young waiter has a wife waiting in bed for him and is unsympathetic when the older waiter says that the old man once had a wife. The old man finally leaves when the younger waiter refuses to serve him anymore.
The older waiter argues that they should have allowed their customer to stay, that being in the café is not the same as drinking at home. He explains that he is also one of those "who likes to stay late at a café . . . . With all those who do not want to go to bed. With all those who need a light for the night." He does not want to close, since there may be someone else who needs the café. When the young waiter says there are bodegas open all night, the other points out that the bright atmosphere of the cafés makes it different.
After the younger waiter goes home, the older one asks himself why he needs a clean, pleasant, quite, well-lighted place. The answer is that he requires some such semblance of order because of "a nothing that he knew too well." He begins a mocking prayer: "Our nada who art in nada as it is in nada." He then finds himself at a bodega which is a poor substitute for a clean, well-lighted café. He goes home to lie awake until daylight may finally bring him some sleep: "After all, he said to himself, it is probably only insomnia. Many must have it."
I think the characters of the story were depicted very well. The old man reminded me of a usual old man that has nothing to do besides sit around and get drunk. I liked how Hemingway used an age gap between characters, to show a difference in the way they acted. It's like it showed the evolutionary path that happens. First you're an impatient young man, and then you grow older and slow down to appreciate life. Finally you're old enough where life doesn't matter.
You can see things like this in real life. When you are younger, say teens to early twenties, people tend to try to act superior or invincible. The world evolves around them. Just like the young waiter, in the story, young people are impatient. Especially just waiting for some "old man". The young waiter doesn't want to wait; he has more important things to do. He's tired, his wife's in bed, getting this old man to leave. His entire motivations have to do with himself. He doesn't see the old man as anything as an obstacle. He doesn't see him as...