The Lonely Londoners

by Samuel Selvon

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What are the experiences the Caribbean immigrants had to endure in Britain in the novel The Lonely Londoners?

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An experience that becomes thematic for some of the Afro-Caribbean male characters in this novel is that of being a "token" friend or lover for the white Londoners. For example, on page 109, Moses is walking along a street one night, minding his own business when a white lady pulls up next to him in a car. She invites him to go with her to a party and he agrees. Once he gets there, she abandons him and starts dancing the cancan with some others. Moses is left to wonder around on his own. Yet, when he decides to leave, they "push five pounds in his hand and pat him on the back and say that was a jolly good show". Moses feels like he was used for his ability to make a racial cameo appearance at an all-white, upper-class party.

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