Theme and message

The main theme of the short story “Loose Change” by Andrea Levy is immigration. This theme is also explored through the motif of the gap between the rich and the poor. The author’s intention is to convey a critical perspective on British attitudes towards immigrants.

Table of contents

Immigration

The short story explores the theme of immigration by illustrating the condition of immigrants (Laylor and her brother, the narrator’s grandmother) in the UK, but also British attitudes towards foreigners and strangers (through the character of the narrator).

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. On the contrary, the narrator feels like she is the victim in the...

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