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‘Selvon’s Londoners inhabit … a comic universe that hovers on the edge of tragedy’ (Nasta, ‘Introduction’ to The Lonely Londoners, p. xiv). How far do you agree with this description of Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners?

TMA 06

Remember to put a word count at the bottom of your assignment and to follow academic conventions as set out in Section 4.5 ‘Presentation and academic conventions’ in this Assessment Guide .

‘Selvon’s Londoners inhabit … a comic universe that hovers on the edge of tragedy’ (Nasta, ‘Introduction’ to The Lonely Londoners, p. xiv). How far do you agree with this description of Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners? Answer in an essay of no more than 2000 words.

Guidance notes

In preparing your answer, you should re-read Steve Padley’s chapter in The Twentieth Century on The Lonely Londoners. Then remind yourself of passages in the novel in order to find specific examples that you could use to support or disagree with the statement. The quality of your argument will depend largely on your choice of examples, but you also need to remember that the way you present them is also important: that is, identify the narrative perspective, consider the part played by the narrator’s tone of voice, think about the choice of language and whether the setting is relevant in making your examples seem either comic, tragic, or a blend of both.

Remind yourself of the relevant techniques you will need for analysis by revisiting the on-line Prose skills tutorial.


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