Climbing the Stairs Summary & Study Guide

T. V. Padma
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Climbing the Stairs Summary & Study Guide Description

Climbing the Stairs Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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Fifteen-year-old Vidya is coming of age during a time of political upheaval in the British colony of India. The youngest daughter of a Brahmin family, Vidya and her brother, Kitta, are brought up with a mixture of modern values and Hindu philosophical thought. Caught between the Indian non-violent push for independence and the violence of World War II, Vidya and her family must search for their place in a quickly changing world.

Vidya and her family must move in to her grandfather's home, with their extended family, after her father becomes brain damaged after a beating. There are different hierarchies in the home. Rules for how men and women interact with each other and rules for how women should behave. Vidya, like her father, believes in the nonviolence taught by Indian leaders like Gandhiji (Gandhi), but her brother decides to join the Indian British army and help the British fight the Axis powers.

Vidya is out of place in her grandfather's traditional home. Her relatives are cruel to her and she misses the freedom that she enjoyed when she lived in Bombay with her parents. Vidya wants to go to college and was told by her father she could go, but after her father's injury she is afraid to continue to dream about college. Vidya doesn't want to drop out of school and marry. She is expected to marry. Instead, she tries to fight her feelings for Raman. Raman lives with the family during the school year. Vidya and Raman fall in love over the course of the book.

The war comes to India and Vidya's family is sent away for the summer. Vidya comes to love Raman and they become engaged. Raman leaves for college in America and Vidya's grandfather agrees to send Vidya to college in their home town of Madras. Vidya ends up happy with her new life and is able to reconcile the values with which she was raised and the demands of modern society.

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This section contains 333 words
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