1. How is sensory imagery used in Chapter 5 to describe the wedding scene?
  • In this chapter, heavy sensory imagery has been used to convey the clarity with which Sampath views insignificant things that would normally go unnoticed.
  • On page 37, the description of the garments in the room are so detailed that it makes the reader imagine the scene as if it were in slow motion. “tiny pleats”. “embroidered”, “faintest suggestion of…” By describing these minute details, Desai achieves this this slow-motion reading effect because it makes the reader pause and imagine all the garments with each detail.
  • On page 37, the second paragraph, there is a lot of visual imagery, which shows the beauty Sampath finds in little things. They are all positive words as well, “luminous”, “rosy”, “rich plum”, “silk”, which causes the reader to marvel at the beauty found in seemingly meaningless things.
  • The olfactory imagery in the last paragraph on page 37 is further emphasized with the words “Oh, scented world!”. The word ‘scented’ is positive, so it shows that Sampath is focusing on good things in this scene. There are other positive words that reflect olfactory image as well. The word “fragrance” and “rich” shows that there are pleasant smells. “Rich” suggests that it is a luxury, thus further enhancing the pleasant mood.

2. Why do you think Sampath behaves in an uncharacteristic manner? What does he want?
  • Sampath’s mind works differently from others. In many ways, he is like a newborn baby, fascinated by insignificant things. His main aim is to seek pleasure and entertainment from whatever he is doing.
  • From his post office scene, I learned that he cannot focus on a particular task if it does not amuse him.
  • I do not think his actions were uncharacteristic at all. In fact, he was behaving very true to his character - Sampath is quite capable of doing asinine things. For instance, when he reads confidential letters at the post-office with disregard to what the repercussions may be if he got caught, or when he was talking to the crow in Chapter 4. These hints suggest that he was eccentric and strange.
  • He only wanted to enjoy himself, not disrupt anything.
  • This is shown when he feels “it was the right thing to do” and when he mistakes the “horrified shrieks” from the audience as “cries of admiration”. These show that he did not know he was being destructive.
  • After being chastised and disgraced for his behaviour at the wedding, the normally silent Sampath lets out his frustrations and yells back 'What did I do?" indicates that this is a turning point for him. He isn't going to be a passive person any longer. At the end of the chapter, Sampath emphatically stated he wants his 'freedom'


3. In p.42 there is heavy use of dialogue. What is the effect that Desai is trying to create? Why doesn't she mention the name of the speakers?
  • It shows how noisy and chaotic Sampath’s life is.
  • It causes the reader to sympathize with his unpleasant situation.
  • It also allows the reader to see the contrast in the personalities of the family members.
  • all the voices are merged together to show the cacophony
  • from Sampath's viewpoint. He's so fed up of everyone shouting that he no longer distinguishes voices.


4. How is the guava fruit significant in this chapter? Relate it back to the title of the novel?
  • This chapter shows how Sampath reached his breaking point.
  • The explosion is significant because it reflects how Sampath feels. He feels as though his brain is going to explode because of the way his family is nagging him and because he feels claustrophobic which is shown when he think his surroundings to be “detrimental to his mental health."
  • It is also quite uncharacteristic of a Guava fruit to explode, which signals that things are very unusuguava.jpgal. (element of magic realism).
  • Sampath ends up taken refuge in a guava tree.