The Lonely Londoners


Sam Selvon

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One of Moses’s friends. Originally from Jamaica, Tolroy first appears in the opening scene of The Lonely Londoners, when Moses is waiting to meet Galahad at Waterloo Station. Tolroy impresses Moses by explaining that he has saved up enough money to bring his mother to London from Jamaica. “I can’t save a cent out of my pay,” Moses confesses, and the two men talk about how Moses helped Tolroy find a factory job when the young Jamaican first came to London. Much to Tolroy’s surprise, when the train pulls into Waterloo Station, his mother isn’t his only family member to descend onto the platform. In fact, it seems the majority of his relatives have also come to London, including his elderly aunt Tanty Bessy, and his relatives Lewis and Agnes, along with their two children. Unfortunately, Tolroy barely has enough space—let alone money—to support this many people, but Ma insists that he mustn’t complain about his family’s arrival, or else he’ll appear “ungrateful.”

Tolroy Quotes in The Lonely Londoners

The The Lonely Londoners quotes below are all either spoken by Tolroy or refer to Tolroy. 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 6 Quotes

It have people living in London who don’t know what happening in the room next to them, far more the street, or how other people living. London is a place like that. It divide up in little worlds, and you stay in the world you belong to and you don’t know anything about what happening in the other ones except what you read in the papers. Them rich people who does live in Belgravia and Knightsbridge and up in Hampstead and them other plush places, they would never believe what it like in a grim place like Harrow Road or Notting Hill. Them people who have car, who going to theatre and ballet in the West End, who attending premiere with the royal family, they don’t know nothing about hustling two pound of brussel sprout and half-pound potato, or queuing up for fish and chips in the smog. People don’t talk about things like that again, they come to kind of accept that is so the world is, that it bound to have rich and poor.

Related Characters: Tolroy
Page Number: 74
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Lonely Londoners LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Lonely Londoners PDF

Tolroy Character Timeline in The Lonely Londoners

The timeline below shows where the character Tolroy appears in The Lonely Londoners. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Section 1
Immigration and Community Theme Icon
Upward Mobility Theme Icon
Sitting on a bench in the station, Moses comes across Tolroy, a Jamaican friend who has sent for his mother to join him in London. Tolroy... (full context)
Immigration and Community Theme Icon
Upward Mobility Theme Icon
Suddenly, Tolroy sees his mother coming off the train. To his surprise, she’s followed by his aunt,... (full context)
Immigration and Community Theme Icon
While Tolroy’s family poses for the photograph, Moses waits for Henry. When the young man finally appears... (full context)
Section 5
Romance and Sex Theme Icon
Before long, Tolroy helps his family settle in London, managing to secure rooms for them in the same... (full context)
Romance and Sex Theme Icon
Immigration and Community Theme Icon
...the house with a motorcycle.” He also continues to beat Agnes, who sometimes flees to Tolroy’s house to take shelter with Tanty and Ma, though she always comes back the next... (full context)
Romance and Sex Theme Icon hard that she leaves him for good. Suddenly full of remorse, he rushes to Tolroy’s apartment and asks Tanty where his wife is, but the old woman refuses to tell... (full context)
Section 10
Immigration and Community Theme Icon
...eye on Five.” At this point, Ma and Tanty arrive at the party along with Tolroy and Lewis, and Tanty starts embarrassing Harris by screaming his name and talking about how... (full context)