In A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, What Are the Waiters’ Views on the Older Client?

The waiters are of different generations. No wonder their opinions about the late visitor differ. The younger waiter is irritated by the client. He does not understand why he does not want to go home. The older waiter sympathizes with the visitor, as he can relate to his depression.

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The young waiter is uncaring and impatient. He has no empathy for others and cannot walk in another person’s shoes. He cares about only two things: how soon he will be in bed with his wife and whether the client will pay the bill. Irritated, he insults the visitor, knowing that the man is deaf and cannot hear his rude words.  

The older waiter is empathetic and kind. He feels the despair and helplessness of the old drunk visitor. Moreover, this waiter is also lonely and unwilling to go into the darkness of his home. His depressive thoughts also do not let him fall asleep till dawn. But he is still not old as old and weary. The waiter still has a job, and he can share his thoughts with other people. In many ways, he is happier than the older client, although the waiter is not a wealthy person.

This difference of views highlights the generation gap. The younger man thinks that a good job, money, and a beloved wife are everything one could wish in life. The older one knows that everything is temporary, and only nothingness is eternal. This opinion makes him more understanding and sympathetic.

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