The story, “The Boss Came to Dinner”, records a generation gap. Shamnath is an employee in an office. The chief of this office is an American.
Once, the boss visited Shamnath’s house on his invitation. Shamnath and his wife made an elaborate arrangement in assets and dinner in their house to host the guests. The guest was to arrive in the evening. The officer will be accompanied by a few other people. When Shamnath finishes arranging everything for the reception of the guest he has one problem. It is his mother. Both the husband and wife think to avoid her during the officer’s visit’.
The wife wants to send the mother to the neighborhood during the officer’s presence. But the husband wants the old mother not to be seen during the officer’s visit: The mother is uneducated and she comes from a rural background. She has no sophistication in the modern sense of the term but she is simple, tolerant and accommodating.
On the other hand, Shamnath wants to exhibit a sense of aristocracy by serving dinner to his guests. Shamnaths desire to hide all their odd things in which their mother is one. They treat the mother as an odd thing in the house and try to put her out of sight of the guests. The mother, on the other hand, is very happy that some guests are going to be hosted by her son. Thus the story depicts the change in the attitudes of the two generations.
But the boss meets the old mother by chance. He treats her with respect and civility. The mother impresses the guest too by her simple and innocent manner. The odd thing is changed into a subject of interest. The story centers round a single action. It presents a dinner party for the boss and friends hosted by Shamnaths. They try to present an aristocratic and sophisticated atmosphere in their home to impress the guests. They work to make their house look orderly and beautiful. But they neglect their mother in order to receive the guests. The writer criticizes the attitude of the young generation towards the old.