Pigeon English

by

Stephen Kelman

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Lydia Character Analysis

Lydia is Harri’s older sister. Like Harri, she faces pressures to assimilate into London culture, grow up quickly, and demonstrate loyalty to the Dell Farm Crew. These pressures are particularly exerted by her friend Miquita and by X-Fire, who assigns Lydia the task of bleaching blood-stained clothes in the laundromat (which presumably belong to Killa).

Lydia Quotes in Pigeon English

The Pigeon English quotes below are all either spoken by Lydia or refer to Lydia. 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:
Home and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Bloomsbury edition of Pigeon English published in 2011.
June Quotes

I love it when you get a good surprise. Like the cement being there just waiting for us to write in it or like when you think somebody will be rubbish at something and then you find out they're actually brilliant at it. It was the same with Manik: nobody suspected him to be such a good goalie because he's so fat, but actually Manik's a brilliant goalie. It's impossible to score against him. Nothing ever gets past him […] I didn't think Dean would be such a good climber because he has orange hair. I just didn't suspect it. But actually he's a brilliant climber.

Related Characters: Harrison Opoku (Harri) (speaker), Lydia, Dean, Manik
Page Number: 211
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Pigeon English LitChart as a printable PDF.
Pigeon English PDF

Lydia Character Timeline in Pigeon English

The timeline below shows where the character Lydia appears in Pigeon English. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
March
Home and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Norms Theme Icon
Pluralism vs. Prejudice Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
On the phone, Harri tells Papa that a pigeon flew into their flat, and that Lydia was scared. Harri put flour on his hand, and the pigeon flew into it. Harri... (full context)
Home and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
...rest of the family in London. It has been two months since Harri, Mamma, and Lydia moved there. The calling card runs out, and Papa’s voice cuts off. (full context)
Home and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Norms Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
...walked Manik to school ever since the Dell Farm Crew stole Manik’s trainers. Harri and Lydia pretend not to know each other at school. At break time, Harri plays a game... (full context)
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
That night after Mamma and Lydia fall asleep, Harri goes out to the balcony and pours flour on the handrail. He... (full context)
Home and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Norms Theme Icon
Pluralism vs. Prejudice Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
...it is raining, and there is no singing or dancing either. Mamma squeezes Harri and Lydia tightly. They are not allowed inside the church because they were not close enough to... (full context)
Home and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Norms Theme Icon
Pluralism vs. Prejudice Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
...thinks that he would choose an airplane for himself. Harri sneaks away from Mamma and Lydia and watches the crowd with Dean, looking for signs of suspicious activity. Harri says that... (full context)
Home and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Norms Theme Icon
Pluralism vs. Prejudice Theme Icon
...rain and tasting the drops on his tongue. Auntie Sonia comes over, and Harri and Lydia show off the lift in Copenhagen House. Auntie Sonia tells them about the lifts in... (full context)
April
Home and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Norms Theme Icon
Pluralism vs. Prejudice Theme Icon
...family does laundry in the laundromat at the bottom of Luxembourg House. Sometimes Harri and Lydia play a game where they get points for spotting different pieces of clothing (such as... (full context)
Home and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
...daytime. He wishes Mamma was at home now, because Miquita has just arrived. Miquita and Lydia try on their parrot costumes for the carnival. Miquita keeps shaking her bum in Harri’s... (full context)
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Later, while heading to the bathroom, Harri sees Miquita give Lydia a Nisa bag before she leaves. They look inside it as if it contains “some... (full context)
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
When Lydia is done, she bumps into Harri and curses him for following her. Harri asks what... (full context)
Home and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Norms Theme Icon
Pluralism vs. Prejudice Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
...and Poppy thanks Harri. Before Poppy, Harri has only loved one girl, a friend of Lydia’s in Ghana called Abena, who he admits he only loved for one day. Abena was... (full context)
Home and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Norms Theme Icon
Pluralism vs. Prejudice Theme Icon
...richer than the president and notes that he drives a Mercedes Benz. When Harri and Lydia first came to England, they played a game where they had to shout “obruni!” every... (full context)
Home and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Norms Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
...Sonia’s flat, “everything looks brand new.” Mamma tries to stop Auntie Sonia telling Harri and Lydia about her fingers, but Auntie Sonia insists she doesn’t want to lie to them. She... (full context)
Home and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
...else wherever she goes. Auntie Sonia gives Harri a “proper football made from skin,” and Lydia a Tinchy Stryder CD. Harri observes that Sonia always knows exactly what people want. Julius... (full context)
Home and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Norms Theme Icon
...Harri sees in London is called Mario and is “quite grumpy.” Harri asks for “cornrolls.” Lydia suggests that Harri only wants them because X-Fire has them, but Harri denies this. Harri... (full context)
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
...him. Harri doesn’t want to, but he can tell Jordan loves doing it. They see Lydia coming, and Harri gives her a dirty blow on the arm in case Jordan is... (full context)
May
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Norms Theme Icon
Pluralism vs. Prejudice Theme Icon
...Miquita are dating now, and Harri hopes they continue so Miquita will leave him alone. Lydia keeps her parrot costume on for the whole day. (full context)
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
...that if he joined the Dell Farm Crew, he could teach them about God, but Lydia tells him to stay away from them. They argue about the clothes Lydia bleached. Harri... (full context)
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
...done, his fingers go numb, which he thinks means that he no longer has fingerprints. Lydia calls him a “complete retard.” He is glad when the numbness fades and feels bad... (full context)
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
Miquita is straightening Lydia’s hair. After one side of Lydia’s head is done, they take a break and drink... (full context)
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Norms Theme Icon
Pluralism vs. Prejudice Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
Harri takes Miquita and Chanelle’s fingerprints from their glasses of juice. He doesn’t take Lydia’s because she’s not a suspect. After Miquita and Chanelle leave, Lydia cuts up her Dance... (full context)
June
Home and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
Lydia has not stopped talking about the Samsung Galaxy and has asked Auntie Sonia for one... (full context)
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
...a man talks about the dead boy and how much he misses him. Harri and Lydia argue, and after, Harri wonders what heaven is really like. When the newscaster says “goodnight,”... (full context)
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
...best keep your mouth shut, bitch!”. Harri can barely bring himself to look, and sees Lydia looking terrified. The teachers arrive and break up the circle. Everyone walks away in a... (full context)
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
Harri and Lydia sneak into the Youth Club to play with the pool tables, checking to see if... (full context)
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
...the binoculars. Killa runs away, and Harri laments that he’s now “just a civilian again.” Lydia offers to buy him new ones, but he tells her they won’t be the same.... (full context)
Home and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Pluralism vs. Prejudice Theme Icon
...nice and thinks about all the things he would miss if he were sent away. Lydia explains that Nish didn’t have a visa. Harri points out that Julius sells visas, but... (full context)
Home and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Norms Theme Icon
...the night to last forever. Back in the present, Harri sneaks out after Mamma and Lydia are asleep and puts his lucky alligator tooth in the drainpipe as an offering to... (full context)
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
...the phone, Grandma Ama tells the family that Agnes is feeling better, and Mamma and Lydia cry with joy. The day before Lydia’s birthday, Auntie Sonia gives her a Samsung Galaxy,... (full context)
Home and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Norms Theme Icon
On Lydia’s birthday, it is warm, and people are blasting music out their windows. She gets chocolate... (full context)
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Harri asks Lydia if she’s ready for her surprise. At first, she is suspicious that it is a... (full context)
July
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
...that if he is a good kisser, then Poppy will never break up with him. Lydia laughs as Harri makes himself still, preparing to be kissed. Harri is surprised by how... (full context)
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Norms Theme Icon
Pluralism vs. Prejudice Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
Harri calls Miquita a “stupid bitch” and Lydia tells her to leave him alone. When Miquita responds that Lydia is “f—cking lame,” Lydia... (full context)
Home and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Pluralism vs. Prejudice Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
...otherwise she would have never made it to England. She did it for Harri and Lydia, and as long as she pays off her debt, everything will be fine. Auntie Sonia... (full context)
Home and the Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Norms Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
...to go on a long bike ride around the city with Dean. Harri secretly borrows Lydia’s phone to try to catch the dead boy’s spirit, which Harri thinks will still be... (full context)
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Norms Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
...Harri and ask what they are doing. Killa and Miquita are there too. Harri drops Lydia’s phone to hide it. Dizzy tells them they are trespassing and makes them pay a... (full context)
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Masculinity, Violence, and Death Theme Icon
...looks up and sees the pigeon and begs it to save them. Suddenly, Harri hears Lydia shout, “Get away from him! I called the police!” Lydia has been filming the whole... (full context)
Innocence vs. Guilt Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Norms Theme Icon
On the last day of school, Lydia, Dean, and Harri walk to school together to stay safe. It’s hot, and everyone is... (full context)