Loose Change

This study guide will help you analyse the text “Loose Change” by Andrea Levy. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, structure, characters, setting, narrator and point of view, language, theme and message.

Presentation of the text

Title: “Loose Change”
Author: Andrea Levy
Published in: The Independent on Sunday
Date of Publication: 2008
Genre: Short story

Andrea Levy (b. 1956) is an English writer of fiction and nonfiction. She was born in London to Jamaican parents. Most of Levy’s fiction concerns topics like culture, national identity, and immigration.


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The narrator of the story describes herself as a typical Londoner, someone who does not like to interact with strangers. When circumstances lead to her having to interact with Laylor, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, the narrator feels embarrassed. She does not want to interact with the girl but feels obliged to do it because the girl gave her some loose change that the narrator needed. When the narrator discovers that she is not a tourist or a visiting student, but an immigrant who fled her country with her brother and who is living on the streets, the narrator does not empathise with the girl. 

The fact that the narrator’s grandmother was an immigrant makes her consider helping the girl for a moment. The narrator realises the right thing to do is to help the girl, but at the end, she still abandons Laylor in the coffee shop without helping her.


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Loose Change

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