First 970 words of the document:
goes into tea-shop with Queenie, Gilbert notices
the GIs who are severely prejudice. "twitched
with hotile excitement"
"fight persecution of the Jew,.. in my RAF blue "murderous mood watching nigger with his
my coloured skin can permit anyone to treat segregation in the cinema- "all niggers...up the head still high"
me less than a man" back rows"
Queenie shares food with Gilbert "boiling the
call black "nigger" "jigaboo" blood of those GIs"
"white GIs at the frount.... black GI's at the
back... usherette had drawn us up a Cinema incident. 1948: Father sailed from Jamaica to England.
1956: Andrea born, growing up black in a white
"Arther Bligh had become another victim of SI 4th novel of Levy. Experiences of father's
this war- but come, tell me, someone... which Londoner. generation, returning to Britain after being in RAF
war?" in WW2. More than just a story of Jamaicans
looking for new life in mother country, its the
Palm is his "prison bars" adjustments & problems GB people had when
Gilbert feels stuck in Jamaica "an island no
blacks came. Immigration. Conflicts of 2
bigger that the souls of my shoes"
cultures. WW2 catalysed multi-cultural society
England not what Hort expected, "hunched over
Not just whites prejudice blacks, Hort prejudices
in the cold" it is cold & wet
whites, "only Scottish people that are so red"
England at the time was v. prejudice, "No irish,
no coloureds, no dogs"
Refers to immigrants as "wogs" Bernard believes himself to be better as when he
returns from the war is he appalled that Gilbert Cinema indecent
"England is for the English and the West "gazer at me if I were the foreigner" Small Island: Andrea Levy tea shop incident
Indies for these coloured people..... their place
Class she believes her "golden skin" is superior to her
isn't here" Hortense- "insufferable" has queenly
Key themes peers who have darker skin than her.
Jamaica & GB small islands. expectations of UK, it is her "destiny"
Love But with Michael... she "could have lit up
London" "zebra of their legs twined and
No love in Q & B relationship-sex "located, he'd
people on them isolated- they come together, untwined on the bed" (metaphor)
stick it in" "greasy sausage" No love or passion
unite (sorta)in times of trouble "mother country"
Friendship At end H & G love each other. "you wan' come
Small island. into this bed" - <3
small world? move miles yet still are touched by
each others lives. eg, Michael, Hort's brother 4 characters, 4 differing sections each from a
moves to England & has affair with Queenie, she differing protagonists view. Allows 1st person
has his child who is then given to Hort. FORM & STRUCTURE narrative from all characters.
Starts with Hortense (prologue Queenie though) ,
ambitions of jams ends with Hortense.
Represent the British - more so GI's - small
mindedness or ignorance to black community.
Split narrative. before & 1948- 3 years after ww2.
black peeps in GB
sections build up, overlap, coagulate-
Prologue, Queenie finds that the black man
War affects everyone, Gilbert says "Too much comprehensive picture of social history of ww2.
("monkey man") hands are "warm and sweaty
seen to go back. Too much changed to know like anyone else's"
which way is forward" "Too many Poles. Overrun by Czechs.
Couldn't move for the Belgians. And as for
Queenie: Auntie Dorothy dies, she is expected to the Jews"... Mr. Todd wanted none of them
go hoem to work on the farm "Not on your both women marry for convenience.
White British down our street. Shows the lack of acceptance
nelly, Mother!" so she decides she wants to Feminism in SI in society for ethnic minorities in UK.
marry Bernard then.
Black British (Jams) "mother country" is UK
A single women cannot travel on her own- it
"salute your superiors" [to Gilb]
would not look good. But a married women White Americans
Hortense: Gilb & Celia (her bf) are to go to might go anywhere she pleased" (Hortense teashop & cinema incidence.
England- but Hort sabotages Celia's chances says to GIlbert)
Instead she essentially blackmails him into Black Americans
marrying her. By giving him the money to get to
England in return for marriage and a passage to
Hortense very innocent, on wedding night Gilbert
England after he is settled. Indian community
strips in "no more than five seconds" and his
"disgustingness" has to be covered. Adds
humour into the novel. "well I'm daft enough to eat it [rock bun].
War affects life "bet the scrambles egg's not Excuse me but there is a war going on"
"there is a war going on you know"