To help you analyse the short story "Loose Change" by Andrea Levy, we explore some of the most important elements on the following pages. Here is a short outline of our analysis.
First, we take a look at the structure and the title. The title is interesting as it refers to the key remedy that gets the story started when the main character needs some change for a tampon machine and gets them from a poor begging girls. The particular structure of the story follows that of a regular short story. However, the climax is not as you would expect and we discover an interesting plot twist.
There are two main characters in the short story that we take a closer look at in the analysis: The narrator, who is a middle-class woman living in London, and Laylor, a young girl who is an Uzbek refugee living on the street.
In the chapter about the setting of the short story, we give an overview of both the physical setting, which is the National Portrait Gallery in London, and the social setting which is more complex. Laylor and her brother live in poverty on the street and desperately need someone to help them. Their social situation is closely related to their status as immigrants and ties with the short story's overall theme and the narrator's own ancestral background.
We also give you a more technical overview of the narrator in terms of narrative techniques applied by the author and how the narration is highly biassed as we see everything from the narrator's point of view who in return is very detailed.
Finally, we look at the use of language in the short story. We find that the author applies plenty of humour and uses many similies. An example is the reference to “days as lonely and cold as an open grave” which is a simile meant to convey the hardships of being alone in a foreign country.