- Millie Murray
Story of an abusive husband and how his oppressed wife makes her journey to independence.
•Alton had refused to allow Patsy from visiting her sick and ailing motherin Jamaica, even though Patsy was pining away for her mother and homeland.
• Miz Ruby, Patsy’s friend, provided both emotional and monetary support to encourage Patsy to escape. She thought of the plan for Patsy's successful escape.
Alton, who had always underestimated Patsy’s intelligence, could not believe that his wife had outsmarted him and escaped. In Patsy's absence, Alton vents his frustration and hurt on his children, beating and abusing them both physically and emotionally.
• When Patsy finally returned, Alton was furious. He scolded Patsy for going to Jamaica without telling him and made a beeline for her. Patsy then threw glasses at him and ‘picked up the brick which we used as a doorstep and hit him.’
• Alton came home injured and "it would be a while yet before he'd raise his hand" at Patsy again.
East End of London
Alton: Brutal and violent character.
•Canes his children at his own pleasure, and scolds his wife over trivial matters, Although he is a tyrant who vents his anger on his family, he is afraid of Miz Ruby, showing that he is indeed a coward underneath that tough exterior.
Sadistic and insecure.
• Although he was a womaniser, he was jealous of Patsy, and was totally unreasonable to her.
• He tried to find fault with Patsy, but she "would calmly ignored him, whch in fact angered him more."
•Cowardly. Although Alton put on a tough and violent exterior, he was afraid of Miz Ruby as she "had sussed him out and took no notice of him."
•Although he abused both his wife and children, he was knocked out by a single blow on his head.
•Did not dare to show his dislike for Miz Ruby, but only spoke ill of her to the children, behind her.
Selfish and petty.
Wanted to scrimp on housekeeping money even though it was money that HAD to be spent. Was glad that Patsy had found a job, just so he could give her less house-keeping money.
• Even when Patsy told Alton that the house-keeping money was not sufficent for the family, he only reluctantly gave her the money the following day.
Loving mother and filial daughter. Generous and kind. Bold and assertive.
•"I loved her best. She was so understanding, you could talk to her about most things." • She badly wanted to see her mother, who was quite old and had hypertension, to the point of plotting against her husband and running away from home.
• Bought many gifts for her children when she returned from Jamaica.
• Finally gathered up enough courage and nerve to speak up against the abusive Alton, teaching him a lesson that he would remember for a long time.
Jovial person. She was always smiling, and had a kind word for everyone, even the children. •Consoled Patsy and cheered her up whenever she was abused by Alton. •Witty and smart.
Thought of a plan to outwit Alton, thus ensuring a successful escape for Patsy. •Reassuring and a source of emotional support for Patsy.
•"...if yu want fi borrow money fi go home, just ask fi me an I will draw my pardner money fi give yu."
• She got Patsy the job at the cake factory, which gave her an income which contributed to her ticket back home to Jamaica.
Oldest child in the family; received both treats and beatings first. Bore the responsibility of cooking when Patsy was gone. "It was awful and the more Daddy beat her the worse it got." •Marcia
Second in line. Bawled when beaten.
Called a "little liar" by Alton, but spoke the truth even before she was beaten. "- 'it, it was Mummy," She was also brave, as she volunteered to check out the reason why Alton was gone, and there was blood and glass everywhere.
Cry-baby of the family, as he cried even before...