My Family and Other Animals

by

Gerald Durrell

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Margo Durrell Character Analysis

Margo is Gerry's only sister; she's 18 at the beginning of the novel. Her primary goal in life is to cure her acne, and she uses a number of lotions and potions to attempt this feat. Her other interests include sunbathing, wearing diaphanous, flowing clothing, and experimenting with a variety of ridiculous diets. She often joins Mother in advocating for Gerry's less contentious pets, though she's disgusted by his interest in bugs and insects. The dove Quasimodo takes a liking to Margo and even sleeps in her room for a while. She has several romantic relationships over the course of the novel, though none are longstanding. When the family orchestrates her breakup with Peter, Margo dramatically spends a week locked in the attic to weep and read poetry.

Margo Durrell Quotes in My Family and Other Animals

The My Family and Other Animals quotes below are all either spoken by Margo Durrell or refer to Margo Durrell. 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:
The Natural World Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of My Family and Other Animals published in 1956.
Part 1, Chapter 4 Quotes

"He appears to have only one interest," said Larry bitterly, "and that's this awful urge to fill things with animal life. I don't think he ought to be encouraged in that. Life is fraught with danger as it is. I went to light a cigarette only this morning and a damn great bumblebee flew out of the box."

Related Characters: Larry Durrell (speaker), Gerry Durrell, Mother, Leslie Durrell, Margo Durrell
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile
Part 1: Conversation Quotes

"Don't be ridiculous. Whoever heard of moving into a larger house because you've invited some friends to stay?"

"What's the matter with the idea? It seems a perfectly sensible solution to me; after all, if you say there's no room here, the obvious thing to do is to move."

Related Characters: Larry Durrell (speaker), Mother (speaker), Gerry Durrell, Leslie Durrell, Margo Durrell
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Part 2, Chapter 7 Quotes

"A most insanitary procedure," said Mother, "more likely to spread disease than cure it. I dread to think what would have caught if we'd really kissed his feet."

"But I kissed his feet," said Margo, surprised.

Related Characters: Mother (speaker), Margo Durrell (speaker), Gerry Durrell
Page Number: 88
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Part 2, Chapter 10 Quotes

While I was at work on my masterpiece...Peter and Margo would take a stroll in the sunken garden to look at the flowers. To my surprise, they had both suddenly become very botanically minded.

Related Characters: Gerry Durrell (speaker), Margo Durrell, Peter
Page Number: 125
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire My Family and Other Animals LitChart as a printable PDF.
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Margo Durrell Character Timeline in My Family and Other Animals

The timeline below shows where the character Margo Durrell appears in My Family and Other Animals. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: The Migration
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...Bournemouth, England. The weather has brought on all their usual ills: Gerry is extremely congested; Margo's acne is worse than usual; Leslie is battling ear infections; Mother has a cold. Larry... (full context)
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...explains that each member of the family "travels light" and brings only the bare necessities. Margo packs flowing garments and acne remedies; Leslie brings guns; Larry packs trunks of books; Mother... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 1: The Unsuspected Isle
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...Larry walks quickly and with a disdainful expression on his face, followed by Gerry, Leslie, Margo, and Mother, who looks harried and annoyed. Roger (the dog) drags Mother to a lamppost... (full context)
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...himself as he waves the whip at the street dogs while Mother, Leslie, Gerry, and Margo haul Roger, still snarling, into the hotel. When they're all inside, Mother turns to the... (full context)
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...tries to seem noncommittal. Leslie is annoyed, as the manager couldn't bring him toilet paper. Margo pipes up helpfully that the toilets all have boxes full of paper. Larry snorts and... (full context)
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...watches them all afternoon as Mother worries that there's an epidemic in town. This sends Margo into hysterics, and Mother declares that they must find a house in the country immediately. (full context)
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...to hire a car and hunt for a villa with a bathroom herself. Leslie, Larry, Margo, and Gerry are unconvinced they'll find such a thing. (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 2: The Strawberry-Pink Villa
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Margo begins wearing a tiny bathing suit and sunbathing often, which earns her a following of... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 3: The Rose-Beetle Man
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...outside under the tangerine trees. By the end of the meal Mother, Larry, Leslie, and Margo begin arguing about what each is going to do that day. Gerry wolfs his food... (full context)
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...behind annoys him greatly when he inevitably can't keep up. He insists on sleeping with Margo, and they discover that he loves music. He's especially partial to waltzes and military marches,... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4: A Bushel of Learning
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...as to what should be done: Leslie offers to teach Gerry to shoot and sail; Margo insists that Gerry must learn to dance; and Larry declares that Gerry must receive a... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6: The Sweet Spring
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...and drinking. One evening, Mother and Larry spend the evening home together and when Gerry, Margo, and Leslie return, they find both of them in a fit of drunken depression. (full context)
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...develops indigestion. He refuses to do anything about it but take baking soda, even though Margo suggests various diets to combat the indigestion and Larry's weight gain. Margo begins spending time... (full context)
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When Mother approaches Margo about the Turk and suggests he come for tea, Margo is delighted. Mother bakes a... (full context)
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Leslie, Larry, and Gerry wait up for Margo and Mother's return long past when they expected them to return. They finally return at... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 7: The Daffodil-Yellow Villa
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...to buy new furniture to prepare for Larry's guests. The next morning, Spiro drives Mother, Margo, and Gerry into town to buy furniture. The town is crowded and boisterous, and after... (full context)
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Mother, Margo, and Gerry are soon caught up in the crowd, unable to escape. Margo ends up... (full context)
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...everyone in the village to kiss the same thing, and she's distraught to learn that Margo actually kissed the saint's feet. Margo explains she hoped the saint could cure her acne.... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 8: The Tortoise Hills
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...his wheezing. Mother tenderly covers Michael in the horse blanket. He gets worse as Mother, Margo, and Larry argue about what's wrong, and Michael chokes out that he's allergic to cats,... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 9: The World in a Wall
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...the table, scattering babies everywhere. Roger begins barking wildly and bites Lugaretzia, while Leslie and Margo scream. The scorpions hide under plates and cutlery. (full context)
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...of French is "oui." The "conversations" are nerve-wracking for her, and Gerry, Larry, Leslie, and Margo sometimes whisper to her that the consul is coming just to watch her tear off... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 10: The Pageant of Fireflies
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...on a narrative about the family traveling around the world to capture animals. Peter and Margo both become suddenly interested in botany, so they take walks in the garden while Gerry... (full context)
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Larry, Peter, Margo, Leslie, Gerry, and Roger begin taking the family boat, the Sea Cow, down to a... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 11: The Enchanted Archipelago
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Gerry creates a list for each family member that caters to their interests—Margo's list consists of fabric and pins, while Gerry asks Larry for books. Gerry waits for... (full context)
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Margo, Peter, Larry, and Leslie carry the Bootle-Bumtrinket to the jetty, where Gerry and Mother open... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 12: The Woodcock Winter
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...arrives, Gerry is delighted that Peter isn't doing much tutoring. Mother insists that Peter and Margo are much too fond of each other. The family agrees that they don't want Margo... (full context)
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...to tell the family about this. One night, the guns go off. Mother fears that Margo committed suicide, while Margo believes that Leslie is murdering Peter. In the ensuing melee, Widdle... (full context)
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Margo still wants to nurse her broken heart in private so one day, she loads Roger,... (full context)
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Finally, Margo decides it's time to head home. However, she walks strangely and acts as though she's... (full context)
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...Annoyed, Leslie invites Larry to go hunting to show everyone how easy it is, and Margo agrees that it's time for Larry to show them that he's actually capable of carrying... (full context)
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Margo and Gerry follow Larry and Leslie down to the swampy valley where the birds congregate.... (full context)
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...build a huge fire in his bedroom. Two bottles and several hours later, Mother sends Margo to check on Larry. She finds Larry drunk and delirious, and Mother decides they should... (full context)
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...and Leslie race to Larry's room, which is full of smoke. Larry is fast asleep. Margo follows Leslie's instructions to pour something on the fire by pouring the leftover bottle of... (full context)
Part 2: Conversation
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Larry, Mother, Leslie, and Margo argue over what to do about Hermione's request. They suggest outlandish ideas such as writing... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 15: The Cyclamen Woods
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...arrives home, the family is in no mood to help him name the new additions. Margo and Mother are curious, while Leslie, Larry, and Spiro declare that the babies are disgusting.... (full context)
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...which rooms are most interesting and which rooms are uninteresting to visit, like Mother and Margo's. They're fascinated by Larry's bedroom because he forbids them from entering. Because of this, Gerry... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 17: The Chessboard Fields
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...puts Alecko on the floor of the living room and is annoyed when Mother and Margo think that Alecko is an eagle. Alecko ferociously makes noise as Gerry tries to untie... (full context)