Outer characterisation

Rad is the foreign lodger in "Some Are Born to Sweet Delight". His exact age is not specified in the text, but he is described as a “young man” and is probably older than Vera. He works in the kitchens of a smart restaurant. He is a lodger in Vera’s house, which places him between the role of a guest and that of a resident. Rad has black eyes, slim feet, and beautiful teeth.

We never learn about his specific nationality, ethnicity, or religion. However, Rad is most probably a Muslim coming from an Arabic-speaking country that was part of the British Empire. This is suggested by his custom of not drinking alcohol or eating ham. He also reads foreign newspapers with “a flowing script of tails and gliding flourishes” and “his eyes travelling from right to left along the scrolling print of his newspapers”, which probably refers to Arabic writing.

Inner characterisation

Rad is a foreigner and a man who has faced adversity. The UK is described as an “unwelcoming country” where foreigners are being profiled as potential criminals even if they are innocent. Rad has possibly been turned down from other housing offers before moving in with Vera’s family; in any case, we are told that young foreign men like him typically face challenges in the UK.


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