The Lonely Londoners


Sam Selvon

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The Lonely Londoners: Section 12 Summary & Analysis

The narrator assures readers that Galahad 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 building, just outside the window. One evening, Cap is lying in bed, hardly able to move because he’s so famished. Hearing the pigeons outside his window, he hauls himself out of bed and—after many unsuccessful attempts—catches one of the birds. From this point on, he eats heartily in his upstairs bedroom, living well and looking healthy until his landlord eventually kicks him out. Disappointed to leave behind such a good source of food, he makes sure his next apartment is also on the top floor. Unfortunately, though, no birds appear on his windowsill. Even still, he places breadcrumbs on the ledge every morning, hoping in vain to attract his next meal. 
Because Cap is averse to working, he has to get creative with how he sustains himself. Interestingly enough, this pigeon operation is one of the few times he achieves something like self-sufficiency, since he otherwise leeches off of friends and lovers instead of finding ways to provide for himself. Of course, the fact that Galahad—a hard worker—also has to resort to such an unconventional method of surviving in London suggests that the city provides little in the way of opportunity, as suddenly a diligent laborer is forced to fend for himself in the same manner as a lazy conman.
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