Small Island

Small Island

by

Andrea Levy

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Small Island: Chapter 20: Hortense Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In the morning, Gilbert “rudely” wakes Hortense up and makes her a cup of tea before going to work. Hortense is shocked that the sun hasn’t even risen yet. Gilbert asks if she can make him “chips” for dinner when he comes home, and she’s so touched by his “plaintive” tone that she agrees without arguing.
While Hortense continues to misunderstand Gilbert’s attempts to be kind to her, her sudden agreement to his request is a moment of unusual sensitivity, suggesting that their relationship does have the potential to improve.
Themes
Redemption Theme Icon
Marriage and Women’s Roles Theme Icon