The Waiter’s Wife: a Literary Analysis

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 521 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 20, 2024

Words: 521|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 20, 2024

The Waiter’s Wife is a short story written by Zadie Smith, a renowned British author known for her insightful and thought-provoking narratives. The story revolves around the life of a waitress who works in a café and her interactions with the customers, particularly a man who frequents the café. Through a close examination of the characters, themes, and symbolism in The Waiter’s Wife, it becomes evident that Smith utilizes various literary techniques to convey profound messages about human connection, identity, and the complexities of human relationships.

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One of the key aspects of The Waiter’s Wife is the portrayal of the characters and their development throughout the story. The protagonist, the waitress, is depicted as a woman who is diligent and hardworking, dedicated to her job and the customers she serves. Her interactions with the man, a regular customer at the café, reveal a sense of longing and unfulfilled desires. The man, on the other hand, is portrayed as enigmatic and elusive, leaving much to the imagination of the reader. Smith skillfully crafts the characters in a way that allows for a deep exploration of their inner thoughts and emotions, creating a sense of empathy and understanding for their predicaments.

Moreover, the themes explored in The Waiter’s Wife are rich and multifaceted, adding depth and complexity to the narrative. One of the central themes is the nature of human connection and the yearning for meaningful relationships. The interactions between the waitress and the man highlight the complexities of human emotions and the desire for companionship. Smith delves into the intricacies of human relationships, depicting the longing for connection and the inherent difficulties in forming genuine bonds.

Additionally, The Waiter’s Wife incorporates symbolism to convey deeper meanings and evoke emotional responses from the reader. The café itself serves as a symbol of familiarity and routine, providing a backdrop for the interactions between the characters. The act of serving and consuming food becomes a metaphor for the exchange of emotions and the fulfillment of desires. The symbolism employed by Smith adds layers of meaning to the story, inviting the reader to engage in a more profound contemplation of the narrative.

Furthermore, the narrative structure of The Waiter’s Wife is notable for its use of flashbacks and introspective moments, allowing for a nonlinear exploration of the characters’ lives and experiences. Smith skillfully weaves together past and present, offering insights into the characters’ motivations and the events that have shaped their identities. This narrative technique adds depth to the story, providing a more comprehensive understanding of the characters and their emotional complexities.

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In conclusion, The Waiter’s Wife by Zadie Smith is a compelling and poignant exploration of human connection, identity, and the complexities of human relationships. Through its well-crafted characters, rich themes, symbolism, and narrative structure, the story offers a thought-provoking examination of the human experience. Smith’s masterful use of literary techniques creates a narrative that is both engaging and profound, leaving a lasting impression on the reader. The Waiter’s Wife stands as a testament to Smith’s talent as a writer and her ability to craft narratives that resonate deeply with readers, prompting introspection and contemplation.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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The Waiter’s Wife: a Literary Analysis. (2024, March 20). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 19, 2024, from
“The Waiter’s Wife: a Literary Analysis.” GradesFixer, 20 Mar. 2024,
The Waiter’s Wife: a Literary Analysis. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 19 Jun. 2024].
The Waiter’s Wife: a Literary Analysis [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 20 [cited 2024 Jun 19]. Available from:
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