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Loose Change

  • Date Submitted: 10/05/2010 06:29 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 55.7 
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Loose Change

The short story “Loose Change” was published in Maggie Hamand in 2005. Andrea Levy portrays one of the great conflicts man will face during life: the grey area between thoughts and actions. In this particular short story we are introduced to the first person narrator, who is aware of what is morally right in the situation, but she cannot seem to bear further responsibility, and she is afraid that the immigrant, Laylor, will affect her life rather negatively.

“I am not in the habit of making friends of strangers. I’m a Londoner.” (p. 1, line 1) She is making a generalizing statement that says no Londoners are interested in making friends of strangers. Hereby Londoners becomes a cover name for how she feels and how she would characterize herself: afraid to socialize with strangers. She is a member of that part of society, who has a tendency to think that the authorities should take care of everything: “Didn’t they have to go somewhere? Croydon, was it? [...]” (p. 3, line 100-101) The essence for every individual is to remember, that every citizen’s passivity and irresponsibility is affecting the quality of our fellow human beings’ lives and ultimately the society we have to develop.

“[...] my period was two days early [...] but I didn’t have any coins. I was forced to ask in a loud voice in this small lavatory [...]” (p. 1, line 4-5 and 8-9) She suddenly finds herself in a paradox, because she expects others to treat her with respect, even though she would have had no intention of helping individuals in a similar situation. Though, one foreign girl, Laylor, comes to her rescue and she picks up a lot of small change. The narrator is irritated at the girl’s useless pennies, and the mood is generally quite agitated. She is obviously not good at expressing her appreciation, and this is beautifully exemplified in a monologue: “I was grateful” (p. 1, line 30). Instead she responds: “Do you understand?” (p. 1, line 27-28). Afterwards, when the narrator...


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