Characterisation of the narrator

Outer characterisation

The first-person narrator of “Loose Change” by Andrea Levy is a woman who lives in London (p. 1, l. 1). She is a third-generation immigrant as her grandmother came to the UK from the Caribbean (p. 5, l. 3). The narrator is also “a single mother with a nine-year-old” (p. 4, ll. 30-31).

The description of her house suggests that she belongs to the middle-class. She mentions a spare bedroom, china, and white linen. Also, she appears to be quite knowledgeable about art when she is in the Portrait Gallery. 

Inner characterisation

The narrator describes herself as a typical Londoner, namely as an unsociable person: “I AM NOT IN the habit of making friends of strangers. I'm a Londoner. Not even little grey-haired old ladies passing comment on the weather can shame a response from me.” (p. 1, ll. 1-3) This first impression of her is confirming in the ending when she abandons Laylor.

However, she has a moment of vulnerability when she first meets Laylor. The narrator must ask for loose change in the bathroom to buy tampons, which forces her to break her own rule of never interacting with strangers.

The fact that she goes afte...

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