Everything you need to understand or teach A Clean, Well-Lighted Place by Ernest Hemingway.
The story begins at a cafe very late at night. Two waiters are watching their last, lingering customer, an old man who is by now very drunk. These are the story's three major characters. The older of the two waiters informs the young one that the old man tried to commit suicide the previous week. They then watch a couple go by, a soldier and a young woman, and comment on the soldier's chances of going undetected after curfew.
Next, the young waiter moves into action. When the old man indicates that he wants another drink served, the young waiter mutinies. He decides he wants to go home, regardless of an unspoken rule that dictates he not go until the last customer voluntarily leaves. He pretends not to know what the old man wants. The old man realizes that the younger waiter is being offensive, but ignores him and... View more of the A Clean, Well-Lighted Place Summary