A major theme in “Loose Change” by Andrea Levy is immigration. The two most important characters in the short story both turn out to be immigrants, or at least of immigrant descent. Through the two characters, the story portrays how the lives of immigrants can turn out very differently.
The narrator is a third-generation immigrant as her grandmother came to England from the Caribbean. This is an area with many former British colonies. Although the narrator complains that being a single mother is hard, she seems to have a pretty comfortable middle-class life. For instance, she mentions a spare bedroom, white linen, and fancy china. This tells us that she and her family have successfully made it in England.
This is in stark contrast with Laylor’s situation. She has recently arrived from Uzbekistan and does not know much about her new country. She is almost out of money and sleeps in a cold public square with her brother. Although Laylor appears to come from an educated family – her parents are journalists, and she likes art – that does not help her now. The parents have been jailed back home so the siblings are on their own.
The example of Laylor and her brother shows that some immigrants who are eligible to seek political asylum might still end up on the street because they have no knowledge about the immigration system.
The difference in situation for th...