The Dumb Waiter | Study Guide

Harold Pinter

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The Dumb Waiter | Character Analysis



Ben is quiet, reserved, and businesslike. He takes his job seriously and follows orders from authority. Ben is often impatient with Gus, his junior partner. He holds a supervisory position over Gus and makes most of the pair's decisions. While Ben usually lets his silence speak for him, he occasionally has enraged, physically violent outbursts.


Gus is curious and talkative. He's not content with his job and wishes the partners were treated with more respect. The play implies he comes from a working-class background. He's both fascinated and repulsed by the world of the wealthy. He frequently pushes back against Ben's orders but eventually obeys. Gus questions both the logistics and the ethics of the pair's work. Eventually he boils over in frustration and resentment, feeling Wilson treats him and Ben unfairly.


Wilson is implied to be a wealthy, high-ranking member of the crime organization, and Gus believes Wilson owns the house where the two men wait.

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