Task 2: Analyse

Wording of assignment: Analyse the way in which Manil Suri portrays the
arranged marriage. In doing so, consider setting, mode of representation,
point of view and characterization.

The analysis of a text can be viewed as a jigsaw puzzle in the sense that all
the different parts of the analysis form an overriding and complete picture when put together. When all the pieces are assembled you start
looking at the big picture; that is, you start to interpret in order to find out
what the text is basically about in terms of themes and message. In this
way the small pieces (the analysis of certain situations, elements and
quotes) all contribute to the final picture which constitutes the underlying
basis of your interpretation.

In short, the analysis and interpretation of a text is a question of how
form and content interact. As distinct from the summary part, it is important here that you underpin your claims with quotes and examples
from the text. In other words, it is crucial that you, with reference to the
text, show how and why you arrive at your interpretation. We have set up
some items below that you should keep in mind when you do your analysis.

Focus points in the analysis

In this part of the assignment you are asked to analyse the way in which
Manil Suri portrays the arranged marriage with regard to:

  • setting
  • mode of presentation
  • point of view
  • characterization of the arranged marriage

In the following paragraphs we present what we find to be the most distinctive factors in the portrayal of the arranged marriage. It is not necessary for you to include all of them in your own paper, but you should consider what you find to be the most significant elements and incorporate
them into your paper.

Setting: Tradition vs. modernity

The overall setting of the story is characterized by a conflict between the
traditional setting of the wedding and the modern surroundings of Mumbai.

The setting of the wedding

From an Indian perspective, the setting of the wedding is highly traditional, just like the arrangement of marriages is highly traditional. At the ceremony, Vinod’s garments are tied to Sheetal’s in accordance with common Indian practice and, consequently, both the bride and the weddingnight room are traditionally decorated:

“the bride was sitting on the petal-strewn bed.[…] under her cloth her
eyes were closed, the dots painted in ceremonial white forming a serene arch over her eyebrows” (ll. 37, 44-45).

The setting outside the wedding

The traditional surroundings of the wedding are in clear opposition to
Vinod’s otherwise modern way of life. He is educated – he has a Bachelor’s degree in commerce – and he works at the bank. This lifestyle seems
to be characteristic of modern Western culture rather than traditional
Indian culture. Likewise, he lives in an apartment block, and he spends his
spare time with friends rather than family:

“Vinod spent […] his evenings as before, gathering at the café near
Churchgate” (ll. 26-28).

Mode of presentation

The mode of presentation has to do with the way in which the story is
presented. Therefore, an analysis of the mode ...

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