Small Island by Andrea Levy- Arthur-Character analysis.

There is practically no resources for this, so I hope this is helpful.

HideShow resource information
Preview of Small Island by Andrea Levy- Arthur-Character analysis.

First 341 words of the document:

Small Island-Arthur
Arthur served in the First World War, came home due to
shell shock.
Bernard and his mother look after him in Bernard's
backstory. Their care for him is not sensitive, simply
practical and this may be a reason for his delayed recovery.
He himself was a victim of prejudice: "A young girl, barely a
woman, handed him a white feather... `He's done his bit'..."
This emphasises Levy's point that prejudice has always
been here and won't ever really go away.
Arthur starts slowly recovering when Queenie moves in,
she looks after him like a person and not a victim.
She saw him exactly the same as anyone else but with
something missing: "...that was how I'd always seen
Bernard's father, Arthur: a human show us
that something precious had gone astray" p238
Queenie gradually learns how to read Arthur and they
develop a relationship of mutual respect.
When Bernard goes into the army, Arthur seems to come
out of his shell even more. "Unfurl as sure as a flower"
Bernard no longer shaded him.
This is all built up to when Arthur speaks to Queenie: "I
would die if anything happened to you."
It is a questionable relationship between Arthur and
Queenie. Is there more than a `father-daughter'
relationship. Is Arthur Queenies potential lover? All these
are open to interpretation.
Arthur knows Queenie slept with Micheal Roberts and he
also knows how much she cared about him. Hence why he
brings Gilbert to her as Michael Roberts and Gilbert have a
remarkable resemblance.
Arthur is used by Levy as a tool to show other character's
personalities: Queenie is very caring and Bernard simply
looks over him as he does not want to face it.



A good look at four main characters of the novel that reminds you the key ideas about each character; try and identify the most important and poignant moments in the novel for each character and make links between the points stated.

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all resources »