First Essay Assignment

First Essay Assignment - Jasmine McElroy @02652197 02-12-11...

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Jasmine McElroy @02652197 02-12-11 Composition for Honors II Dr. Shinn A View into Perception Versus Reality According to Vanity Fair , Gita Mehta’s A River Sutra is a “lyrical series of interlocking stories that transport the reader to a contemporary India….She conveys a world that is spiritual, foreign, and entirely accessible” (i). The novel is comprised of the detailed stories of the life experiences of various people that make pilgrimages to the Narmada River in India. In A River Sutra, the life stories of the pilgrims are interconnected by a central theme, the analysis of the reasons behind this theme ties psychology to religion, and theme analysis leads to surprising conclusions about life. Primarily, the people that make pilgrimages to the Narmada River are seemingly unrelated on the surface. They are from various classes in society, practice different religious customs, and lead separate lives. However, if one looks deeper into A River Sutra , the life stories of the pilgrims are interconnected. Even though the people come to the Narmada River for a variety of different specific reasons, their desired objectives all come down to the pursuit of inner peace and healing. In illustration, one can examine the story of the daughter of the extremely talented musician. She describes the experiences of her early life, articulating the point that “It is hard to be the child of genius,” in reference to the difficulties of living under the shadow of her father (Mehta 201). She is born with facial features that are similar to that of her father, but they are “exaggerated so cruelly on [her] own face,” so she believes that she is very ugly (211). Her story, in A River Sutra , reflects her pursuit of beauty, within and outside of herself. Her father teaches her as much as he can about the loveliness of music in an attempt to “free [her] of [her]
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own image so [she] could love beauty wherever it was to be found, even if it was not present in [her] mirror” (211). The girl pursues musicianship as her father tries to connect her to a male lover through music. He teaches them both simultaneously. Just as soon as the young girl thinks she and the young man have a love connection, he reveals that he is in pursuit of another female. This tragedy makes her lose interest in music and feel hopeless, so her father tells her to “meditate on the waters of the Narmada” until she is cured from the heartbreak (225). Therefore, the young girl goes to the Narmada River in pursuit of inner peace and healing through meditation near the sacred Narmada River.
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First Essay Assignment - Jasmine McElroy @02652197 02-12-11...

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