A Suitable Boy - Part 18 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 518 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)

Part 18 Summary

The story line returns to Lata who is attending a poetry reading by Amit for the Literary Society. Kabir is there as well. At the meeting, Pran is subtly urged to withdraw his candidacy for head reader at the university. It turns out that Kabir had invited Amit to the Society and, what is more, it had been Haresh Khanna who had introduced them. Lata and Kabir have an emotional confrontation about Haresh. There is a large dinner at Pran's home with an assortment of characters, some meeting for the first time. Pran is most anxious about learning if he passed the committee for his promotion. Lata and Amit seem to hit it off over Amit's poetry reading. Impulsively, Amit proposes to Lata. Mrs. Rupa is less sharp with Amit than he had expected since she had been having second thoughts about Haresh. She goes to an astrologer to get a prediction about advisability of Lata marrying and is advised two days later that there are certain problems between the horoscopes of Haresh and Lata. It develops that the woman Kabir was reported to be seeing at the Blue Danube is actually Malati and nothing is going on between them.

As the committee meets to consider Pran's candidacy, Prof. Mishra is well aware that the votes have not come in from Mahesh's district because the counting had been interrupted by the death of King George VI of England. Trying to head off Pran's appointment, Prof. Mishra receives a phone call that Mahesh Kapoor has won his seat in the Parliament. With the news of Mahesh's return to power, Pran gets the promotion. As it turns out, however, Waris actually wins the political race by over a thousand votes. The win is attributed to the last minute flier stating that Firoz is dead.

For reasons of practicality, Lata settles on Haresh for her future husband. Malati is shocked and saddened for Kabir. Lata points out that Malati did not like Pran at first but thinks he is a fine man and husband for Savita now.

Part 18 Analysis

Part 18 begins a process of wrapping up. By involving so many characters in various complicated twists of plot—social, economic, and political—the theme of the "suitable boy" for Lata manages to stand up throughout this long novel. Asked about his novel at the Literary Society, Amit admits to an inability to come to the end of his story which appears to be Seth's admission that his novel rambles. The tension around Mahesh's election returns and Pran's interview for a job often makes for an uncomfortable desire on the part of the reader to have the author get on with it and tell what happens with Lata. The interesting twist of connecting Haresh, Kabir, and Amit offers the reader an opportunity to consider the various merits of each of these characters. The man Lata finally chooses comes as somewhat of a surprise twist. Waris appears to be turning into a self-promoting politician with predictions from everyone that he will also turn against the Nawab Sahib.

This section contains 518 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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