A Fine Balance Essay Questions

At book's end, I returned to ponder the title, "A Fine Balance," because my sense of imbalance -- of despair over hope, of sustained moral injury beyond reach of remedy -- was keen. Gandhi's regime served up in these pages could not be more trenchantly clear. That works well."Even animals, performing animals with walk-on parts, are capable of stealing the show.Perhaps this residual imbalance is due in part to a conflict between Mr. There seemed also to be an imbalance in the construction of the novel itself, a disproportion of background to foreground. Mistry intensely loves the marginal, and his street people -- proofreaders, renting agents, peddlers of potency nostrums, beggars and beggarmasters -- are often so vibrantly ensouled, so diverting, that they threaten to upstage everyone else. A "communicating cow" is mentioned in passing:"The cow, caparisoned in colorful brocaded fabrics, a string of tiny silver bells round her neck, was led into the ring of spectators by a man with a drum. As you can see from the communicating cow passage quoted above, Rohinton Mistry needs no infusions of magical realism to vivify the real.[We see that the lower caste Hindus got a great deal of compassion from the Muslim community while the Hindu upper caste men were intent on making their lives more miserable.

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The four strangers start sharing their stories, then meals, then living space, until, over the divides of caste, class and religion, the ties of human kinship prevail.

In this one shabby little apartment, at least, the human family becomes more than a phrase, a metaphor, a piety.

The displacements, comminglings and clashings of peoples and cultures have released new energies, strange pollens; indeed, the harvest has barely begun.

The unique task of the genre, after all, is truthfulness to human experience in all its variety, and thanks to the great migrations of population in our time, human variety is to be found in replenished abundance all around us.

Dina seeks to escape from the suffocating strictures imposed upon respectable, single, aging women.

Maneck, the paying boarder, has been sent down from the hill country to attend college.

The words that the low caste men use to refer to the Thakurs and other upper caste people show their anger, contempt and opposition to the system-bastard hypocrite, Mr. Dukhi split away from the traditional way of life his caste had imposed on him by working as a laborer in town.

This split up becomes complete as he sends his sons to learn a trade that is not their traditional work-tailoring.

A woman drying her laundered sari, her only garment, one half at a time, for example, is captured in a brief imperishable glimpse: "One end was wound wet round her waist and over her shrunken breasts, as far as it would go. Though the fellow's shirt and turban were bright-hued, he seemed quite drab compared to the richly bedizened cow. When the drum ceased, the man shouted the paying customer's question into the cow's ear, loud enough for the entire ring of humans to hear. The real world, through his eyes, is quite magical enough.

The drying half was stretched along the railway fence, flowing from her body like a prayer in the evening sun."And here is a legless beggar, extolling the creativity of his beggarmaster -- the man who stage-manages a theater of misfortune, casting the players, scripting them, designing costumes and wounds:"If all beggars have the same injury, public gets used to it and feels no pity. The two walked the circle: once, twice, thrice -- however long it took him to recite the cow's curriculum vitae, with special emphasis on prophecies and forecasts accurately completed to date. And she answered with a nod or shake of her intricately made-up head, tinkling the tiny silver bells round her neck."American readers hearing the name of yet another important English-language novelist from Bombay probably want to know how he compares with Salman Rushdie, so I'll give it a try: Less hyper, to start with the obvious, less given to flashy virtuoso display, more open to genuine wonder and sorrow at the ways people manage to endure.


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