When Dimple Met Rishi Symbols & Objects

Sandhya Menon
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Kajaal

Kajaal symbolizes Dimple’s rebelliousness against her parents’ (especially her mothers’) expectations and her own refusal to accept a fate of feminine domesticity. It also symbolizes her Indian American heritage. Kajaal is a “potted eyeliner” that Dimple’s mother presses her to put on throughout the novel (4). Dimple repeatedly refuses and when out of anger and frustration that her mother does not recognize her ambitious career dreams she calls it “eyeliner” - her mother responds, “It’s not eyeliner it’s kajaal” (6). This exchange demonstrates that to her mother this make-up is more than make-up, it is a gendered cultural identifier. Dimple sees her refusal to wear it out of a protest of sexist and unfair expectations for women; whereas her mother sees her refusal as a rejection of her Indian heritage and daughterly duties.

Jenny Lindt

Jenny symbolizes Dimple’s career goals and aspirations. She...

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This section contains 1,753 words
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Buy the When Dimple Met Rishi Study Guide
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