Study Guide

Waiters in The Cop and the Anthem

By O. Henry

Waiters

Like the cops, the waiters are nameless. Unlike the cops, two of the four we see actually use a little physical violence on Soapy. We get the impression that people trying to get free meals is a fairly frequent and very annoying occurrence. The waiters are significant because they thwart Soapy's plans for arrest, but also because they signify food—another thing that is a little bit out of reach for Soapy most of the time.