The Lonely Londoners

by

Sam Selvon

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Cap (Captain) Character Analysis

A Nigerian man living in London. The son of a wealthy family, Cap originally came to the city for law school, but he soon dropped out and spent the majority of his father’s money on cigarettes and women, so that eventually his family stopped sending him an allowance. Always wearing the same outfit (a “greenstripe suit and a pair of suede shoes”), Cap is a true schmoozer and a mooch, a man constantly asking his friends if he can borrow money. Moses knows this all too well, since Cap used to stay in his room at the hostel until the landlord finally kicked him out. Deeply averse to holding down a steady job, Cap leverages his romantic relationships for money and lodgings, often becoming involved with wealthy white women in order to sustain himself financially. At one point, he even becomes romantically involved with two women at once, and when he can’t repay the money one of them lends him, he steals the other’s watch and pawns it in order to settle his debt. When he’s not manipulating women, he has to get creative; much like Galahad, Cap resorts to eating pigeons, devising an elaborate technique of catching them from where they dwell just outside his window. Above all, this strange industriousness illustrates Cap’s commitment to avoiding steady work, as he’d clearly rather cheat his friends and resort to unconventional hunting methods than accept a job as a laborer like Moses or Galahad.

Cap (Captain) Quotes in The Lonely Londoners

The The Lonely Londoners quotes below are all either spoken by Cap (Captain) or refer to Cap (Captain). 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:
Racism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Longman edition of The Lonely Londoners published in 1989.
Section 3 Quotes

It have some men in this world, they don’t do nothing at all, and you feel that they would dead from starvation, but day after day you meeting them and they looking hale, they laughing and they talking as if they have a million dollars, and in truth it look as if they would not only live longer than you but they would dead happier.

Related Characters: Moses, Cap (Captain)
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Lonely Londoners LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Lonely Londoners PDF

Cap (Captain) Character Timeline in The Lonely Londoners

The timeline below shows where the character Cap (Captain) appears in The Lonely Londoners. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Section 3
Immigration and Community Theme Icon
...before “branch[ing] off on their own.” While living here, Moses meets a Nigerian transplant named Captain, or Cap for short. To this day, Cap wears a greenstripe suit and suede shoes—his... (full context)
Upward Mobility Theme Icon
“The old Cap have the sort of voice that would melt butter in the winter,” writes the narrator.... (full context)
Immigration and Community Theme Icon
Upward Mobility Theme Icon
One day, the landlord knocks on Moses’s door, wanting to check if Cap is inside. While Cap hides in the closet, Moses covers for him. Afterward, he tells... (full context)
Romance and Sex Theme Icon
Upward Mobility Theme Icon
Before long, the hotel staff grows suspicious about Cap’s financial situation and tells him to leave. As such, Cap simply goes to a new... (full context)
Romance and Sex Theme Icon
Immigration and Community Theme Icon
After several weeks of deceiving his Austrian girlfriend, Cap tells her he’s left because the job is too difficult. How is it, the narrator... (full context)
Romance and Sex Theme Icon
Upward Mobility Theme Icon
One time, Cap becomes involved with a German woman and an English woman at the same time. After... (full context)
Romance and Sex Theme Icon
Immigration and Community Theme Icon
On another occasion, Cap meets a French woman and pretends to be a part-owner of his friend’s car garage.... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Romance and Sex Theme Icon
Immigration and Community Theme Icon
Upward Mobility Theme Icon
Taking Daniel’s money, Cap and his wife rent a hotel room for seven-guinea per night. Luckily, the French woman... (full context)
Section 10
Racism Theme Icon
Immigration and Community Theme Icon
...finally goes over and starts dancing with the other white woman. As the party progresses, Cap goes home with two women, Bart gets drunk and pines over Beatrice, and Daniel stands... (full context)
Section 12
Upward Mobility Theme Icon
...isn’t the only immigrant to have captured and eaten a pigeon in London. In fact, Cap used to live in a second-floor apartment where pigeons congregated on the eaves of the... (full context)
Section 13
Immigration and Community Theme Icon
Upward Mobility Theme Icon
...on Sunday. When the day finally comes, though, he finds himself upset, wanting—for example—to kick Cap out, wanting to say, “Get to hell out, why the arse you telling me about... (full context)