Small Island

Small Island


Andrea Levy

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Small Island can help.

Queenie’s Father (Wilfred Buxton) Character Analysis

Queenie’s father is a gruff and short-tempered man. Like his wife, Lillie Buxton, Wilfred is exclusively focused on the butchery, which keeps the family safe from the poverty that surrounds them in their mining town but prevents them from having any meaningful life as a family. Although Wilfred is kind to Queenie, he wishes she were a boy, as she would have been more use to him.

Queenie’s Father (Wilfred Buxton) Quotes in Small Island

The Small Island quotes below are all either spoken by Queenie’s Father (Wilfred Buxton) or refer to Queenie’s Father (Wilfred Buxton). 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:
Manners and Civilization Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Picador edition of Small Island published in 2004.
Prologue: Queenie Quotes

Father said later that this African man I was made to shake hands with would have been a chief or a prince in Africa. Evidently, when they speak English you know that they have learned to be civilized—taught English by the white man, missionaries probably. So Father told me not to worry about having shaken his hand because the African man was most likely a potentate.

Related Characters: Queenie Buxton (speaker), Queenie’s Father (Wilfred Buxton)
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Small Island LitChart as a printable PDF.
Small Island PDF

Queenie’s Father (Wilfred Buxton) Character Timeline in Small Island

The timeline below shows where the character Queenie’s Father (Wilfred Buxton) appears in Small Island. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologue: Queenie
Manners and Civilization Theme Icon
Race and Prejudice Theme Icon
Later, Father declares the man Queenie met must have been a prince, since only rich and powerful... (full context)
Chapter 23: Queenie
Manners and Civilization Theme Icon
Displacement and Belonging Theme Icon
...calls her Queenie. Queenie’s mother, Lillie Buxton, is a strong farmer’s daughter, and her father, Wilfred Buxton , descends from a long line of butchers. He wears leather straps on his wrists... (full context)
Manners and Civilization Theme Icon
Displacement and Belonging Theme Icon
The Buxtons live on a small farm with a shed where Father does the butchering, carving up every usable part of the animal and saving “the bits... (full context)
Manners and Civilization Theme Icon
Displacement and Belonging Theme Icon
Queenie spends her childhood in the care of various girls who work for Father and Mother, all of whom mother scorns as “miners’ daughters.” Mother tries her best to... (full context)
Manners and Civilization Theme Icon
...Miss Earl, favors her and often sends her on errands. But when Queenie is fourteen, Father decides any further education is useless for a girl and puts her to work on... (full context)
Marriage and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
One day, Mother sends Queenie to fetch Father from the butchering shed. Entering the shed for the first time in her life, she... (full context)