My Family and Other Animals


Gerald Durrell

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The Belgian Consul Character Analysis

During an interim in Gerry's education, Mother engages the Belgian consul to teach Gerry French. The Belgian consul is always dressed as though he's preparing for an important meeting with someone, and his living room where he conducts Gerry's lessons is decorated in red brocade and photos of himself in Napoleonic poses. He's a great cat lover and keeps three cats of his own. He also takes it upon himself to attempt to control the stray cat population in Corfu, which is overwhelmingly sickly and undernourished. He and Gerry observe moments of silence after the consul shoots stray cats out the window, an event that happens multiple times each day.

The Belgian Consul Quotes in My Family and Other Animals

The My Family and Other Animals quotes below are all either spoken by The Belgian Consul or refer to The Belgian Consul. 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 2, Chapter 9 Quotes

He was, in fact, performing a very necessary and humane service, as anyone who had seen the cats would agree. So my lessons in French were being continuously interrupted while the consul leaped to the window to send yet another cat to a happier hunting ground.

Related Characters: Gerry Durrell (speaker), The Belgian Consul
Page Number: 117
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile
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The Belgian Consul Character Timeline in My Family and Other Animals

The timeline below shows where the character The Belgian Consul appears in My Family and Other Animals. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2, Chapter 9: The World in a Wall
The Natural World Theme Icon
Friendship and the Care of Animals Theme Icon
...and Mother decides that it's time for Gerry to receive more education. She engages the Belgian consul to tutor Gerry in French. (full context)
Absurdity and Storytelling Theme Icon
For their first lesson, the Belgian consul asks Gerry to read from a French book. After Gerry reads a few words, the... (full context)
Friendship and the Care of Animals Theme Icon
It takes Gerry a week to discover that the Belgian consul is shooting the starving and sickly cats that breed unchecked in his neighborhood. He's a... (full context)
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon
The Belgian consul believes that Mother speaks French and tries to engage her in conversation whenever he sees... (full context)