Such a Long Journey Themes

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Animals

Animals are prominent throughout Such a Long Journey. Sparrows cheer Gustad as he rises at dawn for prayer. Swarming, cawing crows signal unmistakably that he must undertake dangerous, illegal activities he wants to avoid, as do the skillfully decapitated rat and cat, whose carcasses the crows devour. Tropical fish, songbirds, and butterflies and moths entertain and educate Gustad's sons as collectibles. The chicken hovers between roles as pet and food, until the butcher's knife decides the question.

Cattle are significant and divide religious communities. Parsis and other religious minorities consume cattle, while Hindus worship them and long to deny non-vegetarians their legal rights. Lizard, mouse, and spider serve as ingredients in magical rituals.

Most prominently, vultures perform the sacred duty of stripping the flesh from deceased Parsis in the Tower of Silence. Only in the case of the vultures do animals come to the forefront for an extended...

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This section contains 650 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Such a Long Journey Study Guide
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