A Suitable Boy Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What event brings the characters together in the beginning of Part 1? How many families does the novel center on?

The four families which the novel centers on have come together on the occasion of the marriage of Pran Kapoor and Savita Mehra. Savita's younger sister Lata, considered of marriageable age now, sets up the main conflict in the novel by questioning the idea of arranged marriage as opposed to a marriage based on romantic love.

2. What objective of Mrs. Rupa Mehra is established in Part 1 regarding her daughter? How does this establish a central conflict?

Lata's mother, the widow Rupa Mehra, is intent on finding a "suitable boy" for Lata who is repulsed by the idea. Another conflict in the novel is the antagonism between Hindus and Muslims in post-Partition India/Pakistan. This theme is emphasized when Lata meets and subsequently falls in love with Kabir Durrani, a Muslim.

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