Essay about Loose Change

1099 Words May 6th, 2011 5 Pages
Loose Change

Maybe you’re not in the habit of making friends of strangers. Maybe you are. There are many types of people even in a single society and you might not discover how many strange individuals that are walking around – maybe looking up to a person like you.

Loose Change is a short story written by Andrea Levy. A middle-aged woman is the first person narrator in the story. She is a Londoner, and she has a clear image of a Londoner’s way of being. They are all the same to her. She indirectly tells about how she is being prejudiced against all Londoners; when she asks if anyone has change in the lavatory, the following sentence is: "Everyone seemed to leave the place at once – all of them Londoners I was
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Laylor has a reason to carry all these coins in her pocket: "She and her brother had to leave their country, Uzbekistan, when their parents, who were journalists, were arrested. It was arranged very quickly […] This country was just a safe place." (p. 3, ll. 83-87). For that reason, Laylor and her brother are sleeping out in the cold, in the shelter of a square in London, covered in blankets. That is probably why Laylor looks the way she does: "dirt under each of her chipped fingernails, the collar of her blouse crumpled and unironed, a tiny cut on her cheek, a fringe that looked to have been cut with blunt nail-clippers." (p. 2, ll. 71-73). The first person narrator only begins to notice these things after Laylor’s brother came to their table (they were drinking tea together) and began to talk with Laylor in Uzbek. Her brother wants to know where they are going to sleep tonight, and then he asks for money. The first person narrator gets very uncomfortable sitting at the table with at person "like that": "I found a tissue and used it to wipe my sweating palms." (p. 2, ll. 73-74). She is suddenly highly embarrassed by the whole situation, and she considers leaving in spite of Laylor’s politeness. But; there was something about this girl that fascinated her: "I resolved to help her." (p.4, ll.124-125). She probably feels sorry for her, guessing that this girl is "[…] no more than eighteen. A student perhaps." (p. 2, l. 55). She mentions in

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