The Inheritance of Loss

The Inheritance of Loss

Lola Character Analysis

Noni’s sister. She and Noni live in a house which had belonged to Lola and her late husband Joydeep before he suddenly died of a heart attack. Lola is more opinionated than her sister, holding strong negative stereotypes of the Nepalis and enforcing India’s rigid caste structures. She believes that there should be strict divisions between servants and upper-class people. Her daughter, Pixie, is a reporter for the BBC, suggesting that like Noni and many of the judge’s other neighbors, she has also bought into the cultural superiority of the British.

Lola Quotes in The Inheritance of Loss

The The Inheritance of Loss quotes below are all either spoken by Lola or refer to Lola. 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:
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Grove Press edition of The Inheritance of Loss published in 2006.
Chapter 12 Quotes

It was important to draw the lines properly between classes or it harmed everyone on both sides of the great divide.

Related Characters: Sai, The Cook, Noni, Lola
Page Number: 75
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 21 Quotes

Noni: “Very unskilled at drawing borders, those bloody Brits.”

Mrs. Sen, diving right into the conversation: “No practice, na, water all around them, ha ha.”

Related Characters: Sai, Noni, Lola, Mrs. Sen
Page Number: 143
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 31 Quotes

There was no system to soothe the unfairness of things; justice was without scope […] For crimes that took place in the monstrous dealings between nations, for crimes that took place in those intimate spaces between two people without a witness, for these crimes the guilty would never pay. There was no religion and no government that would relieve the hell.

Related Characters: Sai, Noni, Lola
Page Number: 219
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 37 Quotes

They rushed out: “This is our land!”

“It is not your land. It is free land,” they countered, putting down the sentence, flatly, rudely.

“It is our land.”

“It is unoccupied land.”

Related Characters: Noni (speaker), Lola (speaker)
Page Number: 264
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 38 Quotes

The wealth that seemed to protect them like a blanket was the very thing that left them exposed.

Related Characters: Noni, Lola
Page Number: 266
Explanation and Analysis:
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Lola Character Timeline in The Inheritance of Loss

The timeline below shows where the character Lola appears in The Inheritance of Loss. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 8
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
Finally, they reach Noni’s house. Noni lives with her sister Lola in a rose-covered cottage named Mon Ami. Lola’s husband Joydeep had died of a heart... (full context)
Chapter 9
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
When Lola hears that the judge’s guns have been stolen from Cho Oyu, she is terrified that... (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
There is an ongoing food shortage, and Lola says that they must go to the market for food and to change their library... (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
Lola every so often visits her daughter Pixie, who is a BBC reporter in England. Whenever... (full context)
Chapter 12
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
...and that it is important to draw lines between classes. Noni recalls how she and Lola had been shocked when their maid spoke openly about her romance with the milkman, who... (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
Lola had always thought that servants didn’t experience love in the same way that people like... (full context)
Chapter 15
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
...best country in the world—better even than England. The cook then delivers his news to Lola and the rest of the judge’s neighbors. (full context)
Chapter 18
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
...the neighborhood stop working. Sai enjoys succumbing to this loss of modernity. At Mon Ami, Lola resigns to not being able to listen to her daughter on the BBC. (full context)
Chapter 19
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
The cook goes to the post office, complaining that the letters are all wet. Lola tries to call her daughter for her birthday, but a man tells her that the... (full context)
Chapter 21
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
Lola and Noni discuss the “insurgency.” Noni thinks the insurgents have a point, but Lola thinks... (full context)
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
Home and Belonging Theme Icon
Noni tells Lola to consider the issue from the Nepalis’ point of view. They had been thrown out... (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
At that moment, Mrs. Sen peeks in. Lola continues their conversation, saying that Darjeeling and Kalimpong never belonged to Nepal. Noni says that... (full context)
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
...other like butter. Mrs. Sen begins to complain about Pakistan and the Muslims in India. Lola is uneasy about Mr.s Sen's stereotypical complaints, because they mirror her own prejudice against Nepalis. (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
...on about how they keep begging her daughter to take a green card. Noni and Lola have always looked down on Mrs. Sen, particularly because they view America as inferior to... (full context)
Power and Humiliation Theme Icon
...and change the topic a second time. Sai says she has no news, but blushes. Lola asks her why she doesn’t have a boyfriend yet. Mrs. Sen counsels her to get... (full context)
Chapter 25
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
...The house grows cold but remains damp. At Christmas, Sai joins Father Booty, Uncle Potty, Lola, and Noni at Mon Ami. They drink and sing, eat soup, mutton, and pudding, and... (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Lola drinks more rum and recalls a time when they used to travel on horseback to... (full context)
Chapter 31
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
In March, Father Booty, Uncle Potty, Noni, Lola, and Sai take the Swiss Dairy jeep to exchange their library books at the Gymkhana... (full context)
Power and Humiliation Theme Icon
...Christmas, and how ugly it had been in contrast with the beginning of their relationship. Lola and Noni wave at Mrs. Thondup, a Tibetan aristocrat who lives nearby, out the window... (full context)
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
...homes to try to accommodate for the population. This added weight has caused many landslides. Lola and Noni comment that the town has really gone downhill—both literally and metaphorically. (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
Uncle Potty leaves to buy liquor, having depleted the entire supply of rum in Kalimpong. Lola disapproves, particularly because Uncle Potty doesn’t want to get books to read, but the ladies... (full context)
Home and Belonging Theme Icon
Father Booty, Uncle Potty, Noni, Lola, and Sai begin to hear a procession in the street, though they can’t understand what... (full context)
Chapter 33
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
On the day of the library trip, Lola, Noni, Father Booty, Uncle Potty, and Sai try to find another restaurant to eat lunch.... (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
Power and Humiliation Theme Icon
...cheeses and the group’s books. The guards confiscate the books and Father Booty’s camera, while Lola is outraged at their bullying. (full context)
Chapter 37
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Home and Belonging Theme Icon
A series of strikes continue, up to twenty-one days. Lola fights a battle with the Afghan princesses over the last jars in the market. Finally,... (full context)
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
Lola and Noni finish their library books but could not return them. Tourists stop arriving. Children... (full context)
Home and Belonging Theme Icon
A group of boys from the GNLF search for shelter, and see Lola and Noni’s kitchen window open. They climb through, asking the women to buy their calendars... (full context)
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
Home and Belonging Theme Icon
In the end, Lola and Noni buy three calendars and two cassettes. The boys then refuse to leave. They... (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
...the oil, and the garden’s output of tomato chutney. Below the steps they notice how Lola and Noni’s property stretches into a lawn. Within a month, a hut appears in the... (full context)
Chapter 38
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
Lola realizes the old feeling of anger that had always been there: how eyes had always... (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
Generations worth of discontent begin to settle upon them, and the things that Lola and Noni had found so innocent and fun (Trollope, the BBC, Christmas), suddenly distinguish them... (full context)
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
Power and Humiliation Theme Icon
Lola travels to a part of town that she has never been in before to pay... (full context)
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Power and Humiliation Theme Icon
Pradhan tells Lola that he is the king of Kalimpong, and that a king must have many queens.... (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Power and Humiliation Theme Icon
When Lola returns to Mon Ami, Noni asks what happened. Lola can’t bring herself to recount the... (full context)
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
Noni knocks on the bathroom door and asks if Lola is all right. Lola tells her to go away. Noni tries to explain, once again,... (full context)
Chapter 39
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Sai next goes to Mon Ami. Noni and Lola ask who is causing her distress, and whether he is tall, fair, handsome, and rich.... (full context)
Chapter 43
Power and Humiliation Theme Icon
...mob, the police run to private homes for shelter. The police begin to bang on Lola and Noni’s door. They are desperate to get in, but the sisters refuse them. (full context)
Chapter 44
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Home and Belonging Theme Icon
...beaten and made to swear loyalty. Those who aren’t Nepali are treated worse. Bengalis, like Lola and Noni, are completely unacknowledged by friends they have known for years. (full context)
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
...hut has become a row of huts. They tap phones, water pipes, and electric lines. Lola and Noni’s vegetable patches are stripped overnight, and the area near their gate is used... (full context)
Chapter 46
Power and Humiliation Theme Icon
...they have seen her: the milkman, the baker, the plumber, the electrician. He knocks on Lola and Noni’s door, and Mrs. Thondup’s. (full context)
Power and Humiliation Theme Icon
...the Afghan princesses support this theory, as they have all had animals stolen from them. Lola comments on how Indians have no love for animals—that they find animals very easy to... (full context)
Chapter 47
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
...dodge the police by sleeping in the homes of the wealthier people in town like Lola and Noni, whose houses they know will not be searched. (full context)
Chapter 53
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
...stupor, he will realize he’s signed away his property and Father Booty’s to new owners. Lola and Noni’s lives would continue unimpeded, and Lola’s daughter will marry an Englishman. Meanwhile Sai... (full context)