Discuss How Andrea Levy Explores What Gilbert And Hortense’s Expectations, As British Colonial Subjects, Are Of England And How These Differ From ...

2411 words - 10 pages

As a colonial subject of England on the island of Jamaica, Hortense has high expectations when she reaches England, along with 490 other passengers, on the Windrush of 1948. She is expecting high standards of education, language, lifestyle, an abundance of job opportunities, and a family. However, she is heavily disappointed as she realizes the reality of England does not compare to her expectations. Gilbert, one of the first Jamaicans to arrive to serve the Mother Country, is also discontented with his experiences in England. In Small Island, Andrea Levy (whose parents travelled to England on the Windrush), explores and compares the expectations versus the reality of migrating to England.

The first realization of the reality occurs at the beginning of the novel, as Hortense arrives at the house. From her conversations with Celia Langley, she is expecting a ‘big house with a bell’, with a bell that ‘ding-a-ling’s when pressed. However, upon arrival, she is greeted with a large, ‘shabby’ house. However, she is reluctant to admit its shabbiness, insisting it is a ‘grand sort of’ shabby, reflecting her disinclination to believe England is not what she expected. Her negative impression of her abode is emphasized when she asks Gilbert to ‘show me the rest’, and he responds ‘this is it’. In addition, the repetition of ‘just this’ clearly expresses Hortense’s disappointment, whilst highlighting her disbelief.

Hortense’s expectation of her lifestyle was also drastically different to the harsh reality. She expects ‘a dining table in a dining room set with four chairs. A starched tablecloth embroidered with bows. Armchairs placed around the sitting room placed around a small fire.’ Her expectations of the dining table suggests her desire for a stereotypical, conventional ‘ideal’ British family, with a married couple and two children. Despite her inability to cook (‘How do you make a chip?’), she imagines ‘fish and chips bubbl(ing) on the stove’. Furthermore, she imagines ‘my English kitchen’, however when Gilbert presents her with the kitchen, she responds, ‘Where?’. Her expectations in contrast to the reality are further contrasted when, in the beginning of the chapter, she says ‘Oh, Celia Langley, where were you then with your big ideas and your nose in the air?’ This highlights the pride she felt for arriving in England, and imagined herself to be superior to Celia Langley, despite Celia’s initial confidence and air of superiority. However, after Hortense was introduced to her lifestyle, she says ‘I hoped Celia Langley could no longer see me,’, indicating her shame and disappointment.

The great contrast between Hortense and Gilbert’s expectations and the reality of their experiences is highlighted through Andrea Levy’s use of nonlinear plot structure. She presents the stories of the four narrators in non-chronological order, which revealed pieces of information to the reader before the character themselves were aware of it. For example,...

Find Another Essay On Discuss how Andrea Levy explores what Gilbert and Hortense’s expectations, as British colonial subjects, are of England and how these differ from ...

Discuss participant observational studies which have changed the sociologists views and attitudes. Are these changes are positive or negative?

1125 words - 5 pages "Learning to Labour" by Paul Willis is an example of a researcher changing his own views and attitudes and assumptions with2an exceptional result. Willis studied a group working class boys in a midlands school, these were known as 'the lads'. From Willis's research he concluded that these 'lads' knew how to achieve in school, they knew what to do to get qualifications but they chose to reject school and form their own 'Counter School Culture

Derk Bodde discusses the process of "euhemerization" and presents some anecdotes in which Confucius discusses ancient beings. Discuss this process and why these anecdotes are good examples

568 words - 2 pages may have caused confusion in relation to the euhemerization process was the well known Music Master K'uei. He was seen as a mythological creature with only one foot. K'uei was often with the sage ruler Shun. Shun enjoyed K'uei's talent and rewarded him with the compliment that "having one of him is enough". People misunderstood this praise and vaguely interpreted it as K'uei owning only one foot. These anecdotes are particularly good examples

October Sky the movie: "October Sky explores universal themes that are relevant in any decade. Discuss."

556 words - 2 pages persistence in achieving them is a very admirable thing to do and is something that still happens all the time.Over different decades the dreams may change and the challenges one face to achieve them may be different but no matter what decade, people are always going to have dreams and goals they want to achieve in their lives. Every person has a desire to be successful and happy. Success and achievement of dreams does not come easy. A person must have

Identify the underlying theme in a Shakespearian play you have studied. Discuss the relevance of these themes in the context to the period and why they are still relevant today

1448 words - 6 pages race it can be identified that the issues implicated in 'The Merchant of Venice' are of direct relevance in today's society.Since the Elizabethan period, many religions have not evolved in terms of love and marriage and from early times, these ideas have been debated. In the play, Shylock does not allow his daughter, Jessica to marry Lorenzo because he is a Christian, another act of prejudice on his behalf. Whilst Shylock may be viewed as a villain

To what extent,how and why Plato's and Aristotle's democracy differ from the modern conception of the democracy

1703 words - 7 pages Reflection PaperManjieva EditaTo what extent, how and why, Plato and Aristotle's conception of democracy differ from the modern conception of democracy.Many of our ideas about democracy originated with the ancient Greeks. The Greeks roots of the world democracy are demos, meaning the "people" or, to put it in Aristotle's way, self-government by the many, as opposed to the few or the one. This is similar to Lincoln's definition: "government of

These are study notes for United States History. They can be used to study for final exams. These notes contain information on The Colonial period through Union times

2654 words - 11 pages - Group of people that fled from Holland and built the Plymouth plantation.7. Puritans- A religious group that felt that the church had kept too much of the Catholic ritual and tradition.8. Massachusetts Bay Colony- Colony established around the Massachusetts Bay.9. Mercantilism- he theory in which a nation could increase its wealth and power in two ways; obtaining as much gold and silver possible, and establishing a balance of trade.10. Navigation

What is Mandopop and How Does It Differ From Other Pop Music?

1780 words - 7 pages gradual increase in revenue from live shows in the past 3 years (Worth 2009). In contrast, majority of large scale pop concerts are sponsored and controlled by the state in which Baranovitch (2003) claims than these concerts are used to appeal to a large numbers of Mandopop listeners in promoting Chinese ideologies such as unity and integration of Chinese culture. He explains that Chinese official utilizes Mandopop music in these concerts in attempt

What is Third Wave Feminism, and How Does It Differ From Second Wave Feminism?

885 words - 4 pages be challenged in different ways. Not unified, argued for different approaches.Make it clear that the basic assumption on which this thinking is based is that "women" can be discussed as a unified term.Question being are women a unity?Third wave addressed this, saying it wasn't.Begin with notion of equality and how it was addressed by second wave theorists. Each had a different emphasis and identified key problematic and approaches to achieving

Are ODD and CD real? and How/Do they differ?

969 words - 4 pages ODD displays defiant characteristics, the child is still not doing things that are breaking/against the rules. On the other hand, a child diagnosed with Conduct Disorder is more involved in more serious and bad actions such as drug use, destruction of property and more, these actions can lead to one ending up getting arrested, a child with conduct disorder is and can be considered a more “dangerous” child because their actions are generally more

How do the the people in the New England area and the area of the Chesapeake Bay differ

830 words - 3 pages Church because they believed that it continued practicing too many Catholic traditions. Groups also split from the Puritans to form their own churches, and were called the Separatists. In 1620, a group of Separatists landed at Plymouth, in what would later become the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Separatists were then referred to as pilgrims. This area of the world came to be known as New England. The Puritans and Separatists' reasons for coming to

"The age of the knowledge worker". What does this mean, and how might control methods and strategies differ as the job and workforce change in this way

2092 words - 8 pages , knowledge needed to be applied to these uneducated motions. How? By re-organising or re-engineering these motions.The future of the Manual Worker is bleak as more organisations in developed countries were moving away from manufacturing (popular for manual work) and towards an economy based on knowledge work. "More employees are working with their minds than with their muscles. Their value lies in their mental abilities and their knowledge."The

Similar Essays

International Business What Are The Advantages Of Outsourcing? What Are The Disadvantages Of Outsourcing? Discuss Why These Are Advantages And Disadvantages And To Whom

652 words - 3 pages "OUTSOURCING"What are the advantages of outsourcing? The advantages of outsourcing you can savemoney, but there are conditions you must met before outsourcing saves money. First,there is economies standpoint where unit costs must drop as volumes increase. Second,economies should be accessible across corporate boundaries, and third the savings mustbe sufficient to outweigh the additional cost of paying other shareholders a profit.Outsourcing can

Discuss The Political, Social And/Or Economic Causes Of British Imperialism And Discuss The Positive Effects And The Negative Effects Of British Colonial Rule

887 words - 4 pages rate and taught the Indians to grow better crops by taking better care of their land. The British also helped out the Malay states by creating railroads, roads and health, government, and irrigation systems. They also improved literacy, diminished the use of native practices such as sati, created a common language, and gained extensive amounts of land.On the other hand, Great Britain had many negative effects on their colonial rule. Mainly, when the

Discuss Competition Between Women In "The Snow Child," And "The Company Of Wolves." If Women Are Subjugated In These Stories, Why Do They Work Against One Another Instead Of Banding Together? What...

1776 words - 7 pages Discuss competition between women in "The Snow Child," and "The Company of Wolves Discuss competition between women in "The Snow Child," and "The Company of Wolves." If women are subjugated in these stories, why do they work against one another instead of banding together? What message does their competition convey? "The Snow Child" and "The Company of Wolves" in "The

"Darn These Skirts" A Short Story About A Girl, Set In England The Same Year That It Found And Made New Zealand A British Colony

829 words - 3 pages town hall. It would not do for me to be announced and then not appear. Not after all my teacher had gone through. She had faced a lot of criticism over a girl giving the speech as opposed to a boy. I cared just as much about Britain having a new colony as any boy, and more than some. That is what the speech was about. The new British colony. What prospects it held for England and what it meant for our youth. New Zealand it was called.I stumbled in