The Man

What is revealed through his/her effect on other characters?

…tapped on the table for waitress. (P9 L1)

“Please do not charge me for it.” (P66)


The only third party in this short story is the waitress.

Tapping on the table is not an appropriate way to get your waitress’s attention. Asking not charging for untouched cream is unreasonable in the restaurant. The man was doing things in his own favour.

The way he treated the waitress indicates he was either lack of dining etiquette or in disregard of service staff.



The Man

What does he/she do that shows the kind of person that he/she is?

Six years before:

She leaned over him. (P18)

In the café:

She smiled. (P2 L2)

She sat down opposite to him. (P4)

It began to play as she spoke. (P33)

She had buttoned her collar again and draw down her veil. (P53)

She gone. (P65 L1)

Six years before:

Behaving like a maniac about the wasps. (P14 L3)

In the café:

He frowned. (P2 L2)

He closed his eyes an instant, but opening them his face lit up… (P2 L2)

He interrupted her. (P9 L1)

He echoed her words, laughing too. (P13 L1)

He pulled a Russian cigarette case out of his pocket. (P22 L3)

He gave a strange half laugh and leaned back in his chair. (P29)

He caught up one of her gloves from the table and clutched at it as if that would hold her. (P55 L1)

He sat there, thunder-struck, astounded beyond words… And then he asked the waitress for his bill. (P65)


When they were in relationship, they had a great time together. Although Vera suffered from the man’s naïve and immature behaviour, she still willing to lean over him and listen to his childish confession.

After six years’ separation, Vera became more sophisticated. She smiled at the man when she recognized him, but kept a polite and safe social distance when she sat down. She listened to the man’s traveling experience carefully, which reveals her yearning for the free life and poetic dwelling. Her resolute is depicted at the end when she left the man again decisively.

From his gestures and little tricks, we can easily deduce the man is lacking respect for women, pretentious, and self-centred. Compare to what he did six years before, he became a worse version of himself.



The Man

What does he/she look like?

Vera wore a veil and a high fur collar and looked well in the man’s eyes.

His clothes were admirable. He had the air of man who had found his place in life.


The author doesn’t provide details on Vera’s dressing like there is nothing worth to write on, but describe the man’s attire as admirable. Since they met by chance, the man would not be able to suit up himself deliberately for the date, which indicates the man may achieve higher social status.