Outer characterisation

Imogen is Mike’s wife and a secondary character in Hanif Kureishi’s short story “The Decline of the West”.

Imogen’s age is not mentioned in the text, but due to her children’s ages, we can assume she is also in her 40s. She works three days a week at a charity (l. 138) and wants to start training as a therapist (l. 159).

She only eats organic food (ll. 30-31). When at lunch with her friends, she dresses in diamonds and gold (ll. 126-127), yet in the comfort of her house, she wears “tracksuit bottoms, an old T-shirt and thick glasses, with white slippers she’d taken from a hotel” (ll. 127-128). Her outer characterisation also suggests some inner qualities.

Inner characterisation

Imogen is concerned about appearances. She dresses in diamonds and gold in front of her friends...

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