The Lonely Londoners

Hyde Park Symbol Analysis

Hyde Park Symbol Icon

During the summer, the West Indian immigrants of The Lonely Londoners go to Hyde Park to fraternize with white women, often pairing off with them to have sex. Because the park is charged with so much sexual intrigue, it comes to symbolize a sense of freedom and lack of inhibition that is otherwise considered taboo in British society. For example, after describing an encounter Moses has with a white woman one night in the park, the narrator declares, “the things that does happen in this London people wouldn’t believe when you tell them,” eventually calling the park itself a “happy hunting ground” where things take place that are “hard to believe.” In addition to this atmosphere of sexual excess, though, the park also becomes perhaps the only place where black Londoners like Moses enjoy something approaching racial equality, since in all other contexts of British life white women and black men are separated by racism and general prejudice. Although both white women and black men fetishize one another during their sexual encounters—often objectifying one another and reducing each other to stereotypes—the mere fact that they are able to have this one form of intimacy across societal boundaries makes Hyde Park a noteworthy symbol of a certain type of freedom for the “lonely Londoners” of the novel.

Hyde Park Quotes in The Lonely Londoners

The The Lonely Londoners quotes below all refer to the symbol of Hyde Park. 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 9 Quotes

The cruder you are the more the girls like you you can’t put on any English accent for them or play ladeda or tell them you studying medicine in Oxford or try to be polite and civilize they don’t want that sort of thing at all they want you to live up to the films and stories they hear about black people living primitive in the jungles of the world that is why you will see so many of them African fellars in the city with their hair high up on the head like they ain’t had a trim for years and with scar on their face and a ferocious expression going about with some real sharp chicks the cruder you are the more they like you[…].

Related Symbols: Hyde Park
Page Number: 108
Explanation and Analysis:
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Hyde Park Symbol Timeline in The Lonely Londoners

The timeline below shows where the symbol Hyde Park appears in The Lonely Londoners. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Section 8
Immigration and Community Theme Icon
More than anything, Big City savors the summertime, when he can walk through the park and join groups of people congregated around a soapbox, where various speakers stand up and... (full context)
Section 9
Romance and Sex Theme Icon
Upward Mobility Theme Icon
...the sexually intoxicating qualities of summertime in London, when Moses and his friends cruise through Hyde Park looking to have sexual encounters. This time of year makes up for the harsh winter,... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Romance and Sex Theme Icon
One evening, Moses meets a white woman in the park and brings her back to his apartment, where they start having sex. Suddenly, she begins... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Romance and Sex Theme Icon
One night, a white man approaches Moses in the park and tells him that he’s just the man he’s been looking for. Confused, Moses follows... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Romance and Sex Theme Icon
The narrator continues to catalogue the myriad sexual exploits that take place in Hyde Park during the summer, addressing the fact that white women often derive great thrills from sleeping... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Romance and Sex Theme Icon
...her until she leaves. “These things happen in the blazing summer under the trees in the park ,” the narrator writes. And although there are bad experiences mixed in with the good,... (full context)
Section 11
Immigration and Community Theme Icon
Upward Mobility Theme Icon
...London has an excess of pigeons, he decides to catch one for dinner. After frequenting the park on a regular basis to examine how pigeons move, he finally captures one by luring... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Immigration and Community Theme Icon
Upward Mobility Theme Icon
Having escaped the park with the pigeon, Galahad goes to Moses’s apartment and tells him he’s bought a bird... (full context)