Life After Life

Life After Life

by

Kate Atkinson

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Howie Character Analysis

A friend of Maurice’s who kisses Ursula aggressively on her sixteenth birthday and then rapes her on the back staircase at Fox Corner a few months later, leading to her pregnancy and abortion. In another timeline, Ursula is able to avoid this traumatic sequence by punching him in the face before he kisses her.

Howie Quotes in Life After Life

The Life After Life quotes below are all either spoken by Howie or refer to Howie. 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.
Like a Fox in a Hole, May 1926 Quotes

Ursula had seen her brothers naked, knew what they had between their legs— wrinkled cockles, a little spout—and it seemed to have little to do with this painful piston-driven thing that was now ramming inside her like a weapon of war. Her own body breached. The arch that led to womanhood did not seem so triumphal anymore, merely brutal and completely uncaring.

Related Characters: Ursula Todd, Maurice Todd, Howie
Page Number: 188
Explanation and Analysis:
Like a Fox in a Hole, Aug 1926 (I) Quotes

“But he forced himself on you,” she fumed, “how can you think it was your fault?”

“But the consequences...” Ursula murmured.

Sylvie blamed her entirely, of course. “You’ve thrown away your virtue, your character, everyone’s good opinion of you.”

Related Characters: Ursula Todd (speaker), Sylvie Todd (speaker), Pamela Todd (speaker), Hugh Todd, Howie
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:
Like a Fox in a Hole, Jun 1932 Quotes

“Intact?” Ursula echoed, staring at Sylvie in the mirror. What did that mean, that she was flawed? Or broken?

“One’s maidenhood,” Sylvie said. “Deflowering,” she added impatiently when she saw Ursula’s blank expression. “For someone who is far from innocent you seem remarkably naive.”

Related Characters: Ursula Todd (speaker), Sylvie Todd (speaker), Hugh Todd, Derek Oliphant, Howie
Page Number: 217
Explanation and Analysis:

She no longer recognized herself, she thought. She had taken the wrong path, opened the wrong door, and was unable to find her way back.

Related Characters: Ursula Todd, Sylvie Todd, Derek Oliphant, Howie
Page Number: 230
Explanation and Analysis:
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Life After Life PDF

Howie Character Timeline in Life After Life

The timeline below shows where the character Howie appears in Life After Life. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Like a Fox in a Hole, 11 February 1926 (I)
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
...he has forgotten Ursula’s birthday. He has brought two friends for the weekend: Gilbert and Howie. Gilbert has movie star looks and Howie is American, which gives him a kind of... (full context)
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
On the way back, Ursula trips over Howie, digging through the bushes trying to find Teddy’s ball. Howie offers to warm her up... (full context)
Like a Fox in a Hole, May 1926
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
Maurice turns up again with Howie in tow, stopping at the house on their way to London. Ursula has thought of... (full context)
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
Howie finishes and bounds down the stairs, completely unphased by what has just happened. Ursula is... (full context)
Like a Fox in a Hole, 11 February 1926 (II)
Life, Reincarnation, and Alternate Possibilities Theme Icon
Fate vs. Choice Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
Ursula punches Howie in the face. He protests that he only wanted a kiss, saying he wasn’t trying... (full context)
A Lovely Day Tomorrow (III), August 1926
Life, Reincarnation, and Alternate Possibilities Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
...future. She is sixteen, on the “brink of everything.” She had even been kissed by Howie on her birthday, when she’d told him that she’d give him just one kiss and... (full context)