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Furthermore the actions and emotions of the protagonist and his sister demonstrates the immense fright and thankfulness experienced throughout the text. In this passage, the description of characters plays and extremely important role since it throws light upon the evil character of the attackers and the kind and helpful nature of Mr. Bapu the millionaire who rescues the protagonist and his sister Deepa. Since this story is told from a first person perspective the other characters are experienced through the mind of the protagonist.
By giving a very precise description of these characters, the author has conjured up a very believable understanding of the way that these characters are perceived by the protagonist, which in term, makes the fear felt by these characters much more real to the reader. An example of this is the “terrifying, unearthly squeal” (6) that is heard by the siblings as the attackers surround them. This description of sound gives a very wild and primitive idea of the attackers.
Furthermore, the “howling of wild dogs” (8) also adds on this terrifying image of the aggressors.
This in term makes the terror undergone by the protagonists very understandable and real to the reader. On the other hand, the character of Mr. Bapu is described in a completely different manner which highlights his benign personality. He is described as a millionaire who does not mind talking to his staff (28), but also “cut for Deepa a red rose. ”(29), an act which induces the feeling of adoration for Mr. Bapu by both the reader and the protagonists.
It is the contrast in description of Mr. Bapu and the muggers that invokes the idea of friends and enemies which is later addressed at the end of the passage.
The setting in this extract plays a primary role setting up the mood. This in term greatly aids the reader’s understanding of the protagonists fear and relieve. The passage starts off with the description of a “mosque stood towering in all its grandeur” with “a brilliant series of decorative lights” (3). This setting brings forward an uneasy mood since the building was “towering” over the two siblings. With this comes the feeling of vulnerability which is later demonstrated when they are attacked.
The setting further attributes to the feeling of confusion and being surrounded when Deepa and her brother try to run “backwards, sideways, forwards again” (12) like running through a maze without an exit. Which is described as a “horrifying checkmate” (13), also adding onto the feeling of being trapped, making is very understandable that the protagonists are panicking. Later in the passage, the setting is again used to give a clear understanding of the character Mr. Bapu. The morning after the siblings were rescued by him they wake up in the house of the millionaire and walk through his garden.
This is described as being “quite wonderful” (27) and seems to have red roses, these both clearly oppose the nocturnal setting of the night before. This deepens the contrast between the attackers and Mr. Bapu since both settings bring up completely different moods. The nightly setting of the streets add of the wild like persona of the muggers, while the rose garden emphasizes the kindhearted nature of Mr. Bapu. This again adds onto the idea of the difference between friends and enemies and the way that these are shaped in the mind.
Lastly, another aspect that greatly enhances the experience of the reader is the behavior and emotions expressed by the protagonist and his sister. The text starts off with “a tremor in my sister’s arm. ” (1). This sentence is emphasized by its shortness and it being on a separate line. This immediately conjures up a tense mood and grabs the attention of the reader. When the two siblings first face their attackers they “froze in our tracks” (7), this betrays their shock and fear to the reader. The two then run for their lives like a prey trying to escape its hunter.
This episode both adds tension and excitement to the story. The protagonists are then relieved and surprised by the arrival of the “white Mercedes” (14) of Mr. Bapu. The whiteness Mercedes being a stark contrast to the nocturnal nature of the attackers. After the actual attack, the story very much relies on the thoughts of the protagonists. He describes the attack as a “terror-filled eternity” (32). This clarifies the contempt of the protagonists towards the attackers. He then later describes Mr. Bapu as “preserved in amber”, giving the reader an understanding of the protagonist’s kind image of the millionaire.
These are examples of the emotions and thoughts of the protagonist, helping the reader understand other characters in the text. This is also done by giving a bit of background on the protagonists giving an understanding of the attackers’ reasons. This also adds a theme of discrimination between social groups. Since the muggers seem to attack due to the protagonists background. In conclusion, with the use of the setting, character description and the thoughts of the protagonists a very clear contrast between the attackers and Mr. Bapu has been established. One being seen as the the personification of evil and the other as pure kindness.
This contrast is very important to understand when reading the last part of the passage in which the central theme is explained. Here the protagonist’s uncle explains how enemies and friends are shaped in the mind. Here, the reader can understand that the protagonists was looking back at a past event throughout the passage and it becomes very clear why the attackers have been described in a very evil fashion as opposed to Mr. Bapu. This story is therefore an excellent example of how the mind can form its own image of enemies and friends only including the negative or positive instead of both.
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