Life After Life

Life After Life


Kate Atkinson

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Roland Character Analysis

Izzie’s son, whom Sylvie and Hugh adopt because Izzie is sixteen and unmarried when she gives birth to him. They are all fond of Roland, but they quickly realize that he is “not all there.” One day when the family goes to the beach (Roland is four years old at the time) he wades out into the water and drowns.
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Roland Character Timeline in Life After Life

The timeline below shows where the character Roland appears in Life After Life. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The End of the Beginning
Family and Love Theme Icon
Gender Roles and Expectations Theme Icon
...this child; Bridget and Mrs. Glover are sworn to secrecy. Sylvie and Hugh name him Roland. (full context)
Family and Love Theme Icon
Roland is a sweet child, and it takes some time for Sylvie to realize that Roland... (full context)
Fate vs. Choice Theme Icon
...face the sea. He watches Pamela and Ursula making a sand castle on the beach. Roland is sent to scour the beach for decorative pebbles, and Sylvie and Bridget are further... (full context)
Family and Love Theme Icon
They later conclude that Roland must have spotted a piece of wood in the ocean and waded out to collect... (full context)
Fate vs. Choice Theme Icon
At the funeral, everyone seems to want to try to claim Roland. Sylvie and Izzie both call him “my boy,” and Hugh is also greatly affected by... (full context)