The Lonely Londoners

by Samuel Selvon
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Sevlon's Londoners inhabit a comic universe that hovers on the edge of tragedy in The Lonely Londoners. How far can one agree with this?

One can agree with the statement that Selvon's The Lonely Londoners inhabits a comic universe that hovers on the edge of tragedy to a limited degree. While the tone is lighthearted, the subject matter is not comical. In addition, there is no tragedy in a theatrical sense.

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I would argue that it's debatable that there's much comedy in this story. While some of the descriptions and characters contain elements of humor, the undercurrent of the book is the plight of immigrants, which is far from a laughing matter. If one defines tragedy in theatrical terms, as a...

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I would argue that it's debatable that there's much comedy in this story. While some of the descriptions and characters contain elements of humor, the undercurrent of the book is the plight of immigrants, which is far from a laughing matter. If one defines tragedy in theatrical terms, as a story dealing with tragic events and having an unhappy ending, I wouldn't really classify this novel as a tragedy either. It's more melancholic in its dealings with a motley assortment of characters attempting to make the most of their new life in London.

For example, consider Moses Aloetta. Having been in London for ten years, he has still not found any real success in terms of money or a career. However, he has an important role as mentor to young men who have just arrived off the boats. While he has not found success in monetary terms, it cannot be said that Moses has not make a difference.

A theme that runs throughout all the characters' stories is a sense of disappointment with how life in London has turned out. While this doesn't make the book a tragedy, it adds to the sense of sadness and melancholy that pervades the story.

It should be noted, however, that Selvon succeeds in keeping the tone lighthearted, making the book immensely readable and enjoyable.

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