Small Island

Small Island

by

Andrea Levy

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Charles Ryder Character Analysis

An American missionary and founder of the school where Hortense works. Hortense rarely interacts with him, but he’s known in the community to cheat on his wife, Stella, with local women, and potentially to have fathered illegitimate children. He dies in a hurricane when a tree crushes the car he’s driving.
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Charles Ryder Character Timeline in Small Island

The timeline below shows where the character Charles Ryder appears in Small Island. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: Hortense
Race and Prejudice Theme Icon
Displacement and Belonging Theme Icon
...books at her government school. Hortense’s school is run by two American missionaries, Stella and Charles Ryder , who tell her that they are there to help the “poor negro children.” Hortense... (full context)
Manners and Civilization Theme Icon
Race and Prejudice Theme Icon
...both because Mrs. Ryder is unusually independent and likes to drive herself around, and because Mr. Ryder is known to conduct dalliances with local women and has perhaps fathered illegitimate children. (full context)
Redemption Theme Icon
When the rain finally abates, Hortense runs out of the school, only to find Mr. Ryder ’s car “wrapped around the base of a tree” by the road. Mr. Ryder is... (full context)
Race and Prejudice Theme Icon
Displacement and Belonging Theme Icon
...up the school. A local newspaper publishes an article suggesting that Michael may have murdered Mr. Ryder . When Hortense returns home three days later, Michael is gone. Miss Ma tells Hortense... (full context)