ENGR1Bnumber2 - 1 Virginia Lieu English R1B The Long and...

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1 Virginia Lieu English R1B The Long and Short of It Tiffany Tsao March 31, 2009 Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance narrates the lives of four very different people, Dina, Ishvar, Om and Maneck, and how their lives intersect and intertwine during Indira Gandhi’s tumultuous reign during the Emergency in the 1970s. In the first passage of the novel, “Prologue: 1975,” Mistry uses decay and mess to reveal the selfishness abound in the city. He utilizes the beauty and peace of Ishvar’s, Om’s and Maneck’s towns in the countryside to represent how the citizens of the country are better at maintaining a fine balance and are thus kinder and more humane. Mistry shows that city is a place of filth and pollution. The first description of the city outside the train is already disheartening and repulsive: the slums, which possibly are the slums where Ishvar and Om will dwell after being employed by Dina, are described as “rough shacks [standing] beyond the railroad fence, alongside a ditch running with raw sewage…the acrid smell of a dung-fire drifted towards the train (Mistry 4).” Furthermore, the introduction of Shankar, the fingerless and legless beggar on the platform, seems tragic and pitiful. Mistry then shows Dina’s house: “The ceiling was dark and flaking, the walls discoloured, missing chunks of plaster in several places. Other stark patches, recently cemented, stood out like freshly healed wounds
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This note was uploaded on 09/21/2009 for the course ENGLISH R 1 taught by Professor Tsao during the Spring '09 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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ENGR1Bnumber2 - 1 Virginia Lieu English R1B The Long and...

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