Life After Life

Life After Life

by

Kate Atkinson

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Fred Smith Character Analysis

Growing up, Fred works for the butcher near Fox Corner and eventually becomes a train fireman. He and Ursula reunite during the war, when he is working as a fireman with the rescue squads, and they begin a brief romance before he is crushed by a wall in one of the bombing incidents.

Fred Smith Quotes in Life After Life

The Life After Life quotes below are all either spoken by Fred Smith or refer to Fred Smith. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Life, Reincarnation, and Alternate Possibilities Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Hachette edition of Life After Life published in 2013.
A Long Hard War, Nov 1940 Quotes

Some hours later they had both woken up at the same time and made love. It was the kind of love (lust, to be honest about it) that survivors of disasters must practice—or people who are anticipating disaster—free of all restraint, savage at times and yet strangely tender and affectionate.

Related Characters: Ursula Todd, Crighton, Ralph, Fred Smith
Page Number: 441
Explanation and Analysis:
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Life After Life PDF

Fred Smith Character Timeline in Life After Life

The timeline below shows where the character Fred Smith appears in Life After Life. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Armistice (II), 12 November 1918
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
...to school. Mrs. Glover makes them do schoolwork at the table until the butcher’s boy, Fred Smith, arrives with a hare. The children all like Fred—Pamela had once declared that Maurice... (full context)
Like a Fox in a Hole, May 1926
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
...University to study chemistry. There are dances in the village hall on Friday evenings, and Fred Smith is waltzing with Ursula when the memory of the back stairs overwhelms her. She... (full context)
Family and Love Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
...pregnant but doesn’t know where to turn. She walks to the train station and finds Fred Smith, who offers her a free ride. She gets on and spends the afternoon walking... (full context)
A Lovely Day Tomorrow (III), November 1940
War and Death Theme Icon
...into the street. Two firemen—one of whom looks like (and is later revealed to be) Fred Smith—are attaching a hose to a hydrant when one of them yells, “the wall’s coming... (full context)
A Long Hard War, September 1940
Family and Love Theme Icon
At the station, Ursula says goodbye to Hugh, promising to take care of herself. Fred Smith offers Ursula a ride, though he only has an engine without carriages, and so... (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
Fred walks Ursula to the front gates of King’s Cross, and she remembers having a crush... (full context)
A Long Hard War, November 1940
Life, Reincarnation, and Alternate Possibilities Theme Icon
Fate vs. Choice Theme Icon
Just then, Ursula runs into Fred Smith, who is enraged rather than grieving over the needless deaths of the rescuers crushed... (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
Fred offers to walk Ursula home. They set out, hand in hand, the dog walking behind... (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
Ursula returns home, telling Millie about her time with Fred. She says she is a bit disappointed, though; she wanted something “transcendent,” but instead she... (full context)
A Long Hard War, May 1941
War and Death Theme Icon
...the same raid, Herr Zimmerman and Mr. Simms are killed. At the funeral, Ursula finds Fred Smith and they rent a room at a nearby hotel and have sex. When they... (full context)
War and Death Theme Icon
...affected her in a different way than other incidents. Then the siren goes off, and Fred hastily flies out of the room, as he is supposed to be on duty. A... (full context)
A Long Hard War, June 1967
Life, Reincarnation, and Alternate Possibilities Theme Icon
War and Death Theme Icon
...funeral, Ursula had wondered who would remember the names of the dead—Miss Woolf, Emil, Renee, Fred Smith. Ursula had already forgotten so many names, so many young lives lost. Ursula had... (full context)