The anonymous narrator is the main character in the short story. He is not given a name or an age; this suggests that his personal identity is not important and that he represents a stereotype within the narrative.
The author makes no references to the narrator’s outer characterization. We do not know anything about him or his life outside this particular episode in his life, except that he has no experience in the restaurant business, a fact which he mentions at the end of the story.
The narrator’s inner characterization is constructed through his language, his thoughts, and his actions.
Initially, the narrator finds himself attracted by both the inexpensive food and the fact that the diner appears to be cleaner than others. His description of the cafe suggests that he pays attention to small details and that he appreciates both a good deal and homeliness:
The signs on the windows lured me inside. For a dollar I could get two eggs, toast, and potatoes. The place looked better than most – family-run and clean. The signs were hand-lettered and neat. The paper had yellowed some, but the black letters rema...