Just below the surface The story is written by Kate Nivison and takes place in a London suburb in an upper class environment (p. 41, l. 14) in modern time (p. 42, l. 23). It is a first person narrator so we sympathize with Indrani. Indrani:
- Is an Indian woman (p. 42, l. 37)
- Is education, but not highly educated
- She is very bigoted (p. 42, p. 29-30)
- She thinks the British people are xenophobic (the woman in the shop and the men from the council, p. 43, l. 5)
- She is very concerned about what other people think about her (p. 42, l. 19)
- She feels suppressed (p. 43, l. 16)
- She wants to be a good wife and desperately wants to keep up her appearances (p. 42, l. 1) She wants to keep her pride that is typical for the Indian culture.
- The British people are biased against her (p. 43, l. 13)
- She is trying to assimilate to the society, but the society hasn’t assimilated to the foreigners because the foreigners want to keep their values (p. 48, l. )
- She develops through the story; in the beginning she doesn’t mind the racism against her. She doesn’t notice it. But in the end she gets an eye-opener.
- She is dependent on her husband (p. 44, l. 6)
- She tries to avoid conflicts Barry:
- He is a hidden racist (p. 48, l. 14)
- Is very ironic (p. 4, l. 31)
- He uses metaphors (p. 47, l. 15)
- He is insolent
- He is very biased
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There are a lot of dialogs and direct speech in the story. Also colloquial language because of the direct speech.
There can be drawn parallels to the story My Son the Fanatic because in both stories there is a person who tries to integrate to the British society. There can also be drawn parallels to Mrs. Frost and Barry because they are both very bigoted. There can also be drawn parallels to Robin Cook’s speech. He says the immigrants are good for the country while Barry wants to get rid of them. The rats symbolize the immigrants according to the Barry. The kitchen symbolizes her facade.
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