George, Sam, and Ole Andreson


George is another secondary character in the story. He is apparently in charge of Henry’s lunchroom (as only him and Sam, the cook, are the employees present). He takes the customers’ orders and serves them.

We are given no details about his physical appearance; his outer characterisation is not presented in the story. His overall calm reaction to the events in the story suggests that he is most likely more experienced in life than Nick Adams and, thus, older than him.

George’s inner characterisation is constructed through his language and actions. Throughout the story, he demonstrates a calm demeanour towards Al and Max, although they repeatedly abuse him verbally: they harass him about the menu (ll. 20-21), taunt him and call him “dumb” (l. 45), undermine him by calling him “boy” (l. 42), and threaten his life (l. 154).

Note, however, that George is not necessarily intimidated by Al and Max, as he protests their orders and asks what their plan is: “ ‘Where do you think you are?’” (l. 80); “‘All right,’ George said. What you going to do with us afterward?’” (l. 140)

He also avoids saying anything out loud about the men and their business: :

‘What's it all about?’ (...)
‘What do you think it's all about?’
‘I don't know.’
‘What do you think?’
Max looked into the mirror all the time he was talking.
‘I wouldn't say.’ (ll. 99-106)

He even tells them that Andreson is not coming to the diner, presumably in an attempt to make them leave earlier (l. 160). This demonstrates a sort of passive resistance from George...

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