My Family and Other Animals

by

Gerald Durrell

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My Family and Other Animals: Part 1: Conversation Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Larry writes to all his friends inviting them to visit as soon as the family is fully settled. Gerry notes that it seems to have not occurred to him that the villa is barely big enough for the family. Mother is worried about having "highbrow" guests around, and suggests that Larry inform the local hotel of the coming friends. Larry and Mother argue about whether the villa is big enough to accommodate all of Larry's friends. Mother crossly maintains that it isn't, and Larry matter-of-factly says the solution is obvious: they need to move to a bigger villa. Mother counters that the obvious solution is to not invite people.
As much as Larry finds the animal absurdity ridiculous, he fully ignores the fact that he himself is just as absurd and ridiculous. This suggests that as much as Larry complains about his family's absurdity throughout the novel, he's the one most responsible for manufacturing and encouraging these kinds of shenanigans—essentially, he fits right in on Corfu.
Themes
The Natural World Theme Icon
Absurdity and Storytelling Theme Icon
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Larry and Mother continue their argument, which intensifies when Larry admits that they may end up hosting seven or eight people at once. He maintains that they must move and says that when this round of guests leaves, they'll just need to invite more people to fill the extra space. Mother angrily arranges flowers and mutters that she refuses to move.
Larry also shows here that he's very selfish and doesn't consider the needs and desires of others, a quality that's often associated with childishness. This shows again that there are many ways to be an adult, not all of which are particularly mature.
Themes
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon