Analysis of "Loose Change" by Andrea Levy

Topics: Protagonist, Character, Fiction Pages: 4 (1500 words) Published: May 2, 2011
Analysis of “Loose Change” by Andrea Levy
Our world consists of multiple cultures and ethnicities, which makes it difficult for people to understand a culture different from their own. The cultural gap between nations is deep and therefore western people, who are protected from many of the cruel facts of life feel scared and uncomfortable when these facts come too close, which is what the story “Loose Change” is about. The story is about local identity in opposition to ethnicity and focuses on the unfairness in which people in need of help is treated.

In the short story “Loose Change” we meet the female main character – the I-narrator – who is helped out by a foreign woman in the restroom at a gallery when she is in need of coins for the tampon machine. When she asks for help the foreign woman was the only one staying, while all the other typical Londoners left. The woman, Laylor is in story referenced to as “she” (1. 11), which implies that she has a certain importance for the main character and the whole story. The main character invites Laylor for a cup of tea, because she wants to give her the money back in some way. At this point the main character assumes Laylor is an emigrant from Spain because of her accent. Once they arrive at the café they meet Laylor’s brother with whom Laylor has a discussing with in their native language. As the conversation develops between the women the main character is told by Laylor that she and her brother are political refugees from Uzbekistan and are now homeless in London. After the main character learns about Laylor’s situation she sees her from a different perspective. Even though the main character ponders how she could help Laylor and her brother, she leaves the café and Laylor on her own.

The story is set in the National Gallery of London where the women meet in the restroom this leads the main character to believe that Laylor is a woman from another European country who might be there on holiday or another...
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