A Suitable Boy - Part 7, 1 through 22 Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 49 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Suitable Boy.
This section contains 581 words
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Part 7, 1 through 22 Summary

Kabir has learned of Lata's whereabouts and sends her a letter which she does not open for fear that her mother will come in any minute. The domestic scene at the Mehra household is somewhat dysfunctional as seen at breakfast before Arun leaves for work. There is tension between Mrs. Mehra and Arun's wife Meenakshi over the gold medal once belonging to Mrs. Merah's late husband. Meenakshi had melted it down to be made into earrings for her. A shopping trip for Meenakshi, Lata, and Mrs. Rupa Mehra further examines the tension between Meenakshi and her mother-in-law. After leaving for her canasta party, Meenakshi returns home to bedlam and, interestingly, it is Mrs. Rupa Mehra who manages to restore harmony to the scene. Lata finally gets enough solitude to read Kabir's letter which reawakens the confusion and distress in her. The sibling rivalry between Varun and Arun comes to a head prior to a dinner party.

A large dinner party held at the home of the Chatterjis brings many of the characters together. The discussion centers around work, relationships, literature, and politics. Much of the dialog is heard through the mind of Lata who feels like she is drowning in conversation. There is a conversation comparing the song of birds and the "awful wailing" of Indian singing. There is the philosophical discussion between "the Grande Dame of Culture" and Dipankar Chatterji about the One-ness of Indian culture and the need to strive for the Nothingness that sounds a lot like Buddhism. The Chatterji family is notorious for making up spontaneous rhymes about almost any subject. Kakoli (or Kuku) is the youngest daughter and something of a pain where as Amit is the eldest son beginning to make a name for himself as a poet. Amit, educated in England, is expected to speak that language at social gatherings even though his Bengali is also excellent. Another burden placed on Amit is his status as a bachelor and the constant pressure for him to marry. Strife arises in the Chatterji family when the judge calls in Amit and Dipankar to tell them that one or the other must take over the family business. Amit is intent on writing his novel and Dipankar has taken a keen interest in Hindu religion. Neither of them wants the job.

Meanwhile Arun is doing quite well at his job at Bentsen Pryce. However, his job causes him to work long hours. This fact gives Meenakshi ample opportunity to carry on an affair with Billy Irani, the husband of one of her women friends. For Meenakshi, the affair is a simple diversion; for Billy it often seems like a trap.

Part 7, 1 through 22 Analysis

The first section of Part 7 deals largely with the society of India at the time. It involves two different social gatherings among people of different socio-economic status. The conversation allows for slightly more insight into the characters. Although Lata is largely an observer at these gatherings, there is still an undercurrent of finding a suitable boy for her to marry. Conflict is evident in the various families. Judge Chatterji's decision to turn the running of the family businesses over to one of his sons raises the question of a parent's wishes for his child and the ambitions the child has himself. In a sense, this parallels the arranged marriage theme. As India comes into the twentieth century in its own right, these conflicts appear to be growing stronger.

This section contains 581 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
A Suitable Boy from BookRags. (c)2017 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
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