Chapter 1:
  • Discuss the irony of Sampath's name with reference to the novel as a whole.

  • How does the fact that the townsfolk of Shahkot all want to submit their proposals for getting the rains foreshadow what happens at the end of the novel?

  • Why does Desai write in such detail about the heat in Shahkot? How does this set the scene for the novel?
  • The fact that Desi uses imagery and other literary techniques to decribe shakhot in detail tells us that

  • What's the narrator's attitude towards the Shahkot community? Choose two pieces of evidence from the text to support your ideas?

  • Open to page 4. Look at the paragraph which has 'Of fish in many forms....of fenugreek, camel milk, yam and corn'. What technique in Desai using in this section? What is the effect? How does it help create her character.

  • Look at the dialogue tags used for Mr Chawla 'snorted', 'shouted', 'demanded'. How do these reveal his character.
  • Mr. Chawla's character is portrayed as rough and arrogant. he is the kind of character that wants to be in control , to be part of the action and therefore bring glory to his name.he is controlling and desai uses these verbs of :shouted" , "demanded" and "snorted' to reveal mr. chawla's antagonistic nature and the rawness of his charcter.

  • Why does Desai coincide the arrival of the monsoon with the birth of Sampat?
  • - she does this to make a statement that Sampath's birth was what brought releif from the agonizing heat of the sun. This idea was further explord by using the rain as something that portrays new life or a new beginning that would lead to a joyous event or move the story into a more positive direction.for example ,"the rain descended in great sweeping sheets."
  • The three main activities that Kulfi is involved with in this chapter are cooking, drawing and giving birth. What are the similarities between these activities? How does this allow Desai to differentiate Kulfi from other characters in the novel?
  • These three activities all have the common conception of freedom and creativity linked to them: drawing is something that lets you use your imagination to produce something that describes yourself on paper , which contrasts the behaviour of the chawla family who try to do good for Sampath but dont realise they are caging him more and more against his will. kulfi is shown as a diffrent character by portraying her spirit and inner desire that makes her character fall in love with expressing herself through these activities.

Chapter 2
  • In this chapter, we again have a description of the heat. How does this symbolise Sampat's relationship with his family?