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The Mango Season, Amulya Malladi

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Jessica Edwards

on 7 March 2011

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Transcript of The Mango Season, Amulya Malladi

The Mango Season Amulya Malladi Characters Plot Conflict Culture Themes India (South) State: Andhra Pradesh Hyderabad is Priya's hometown America California San Francisco Priya lives here with her fiance Nick While San Francisco is COLD... The book takes place during a HOT Indian summer. The story takes place over a two-week visit to India It starts three days in. Setting Hyderabad San Francisco Priya Nick Nate Sowmya Anand Neelima Lata Jayant Radha Ashwin Thatha Ammamma An American accountant, who emails Priya during her stay in India. Priya's brother. He is 10 years younger, and they share no sibling rivalry. They do share secrets--such as his North Indian girlfriend, Tara. Priya's aunt,who "has been twenty seven for the last three years" (34) due to being unmarriageable. Her parents have tried unsuccessfully to betroth her to at least 64 men, and unlike Priya, she wants an arranged marriage. She also wants a job, but is forced by her father to cook and clean. Priya's uncle, who is 5 years older than her. He married his wife in secret, and his family frowns upon the relationship. Nonetheless, he is one of Priya's favourite relatives and is proud that he will soon be a father. Anand's wife of one year. She is pregnant, but Priya's family believes that her child will not be the rightful heir. In fact, because she is from a different state, the family treats her poorly. Anand still insists that she visit them though, thinking that the more they see of her the more they will know. rotagonist returns to India after being in the US for 7 years is having trouble readjusting to Indian culture. This, combined with her short temper, is problematic. youth is running out - she's 27. Her parents think she is still single, and want her married (to an Indian) soon. Attempts to tell her family about her American fiance, who they would not approve of. This fiance is... The wife of Jayant. Lata is very beautiful, and since Neelima came in to the family, Lata has been treated like the best thing since sliced bread. She has two daughters, and is pregnant with a third child due to the demands of Jayant's family. They are desperate for a pureblooded male heir, so desperate that Jayant is secretly considering abortion. Adarsh Dark-skinned, with shoulder length hair A chauvinist, firmly set in the ways of his country. Believes foreigners think as ill of India as he does of other countries, women should be kept working at home, and that his heir must be a pureblooded Telugu Brahmin so he can be properly judged in heaven. He is often at odds with Priya, his granddaughter, due to her differing viewpoints. Tara A "suitable Indian boy" for Priya. Her parents secretly arrange a bride-seeing ceremony between the two. His family is rich and he is extremely handsome. His story about his Chinese ex-girlfriend makes Priya discover how she is hurting her family by hiding thingss from them. Nate's very liberal girlfriend. She is North Indian, and a completely free spirit. She doesn't dress conservatively and speaks her mind freely. Frances The widowed mother of Nick. Always knows what to do in any situation. Eager to see Nick and Priya married. Murthy Auntie Neighbour of Priya's parents. Is always eager for gossip, especially when it makes her children look better than Radha's. Priya's uncle. He is an engineer with a beautiful wife and two daughters. He wants Lata to bear a male heir, so that for once he can be closer to his father than Anand. He has a jump start on this because of Neelima. Priya's mother. She was once beautiful, but weight gain and aging have taken a toll on her. She and Priya are not very close, and they both have different ideals when it comes to Priya's future. Priya's loving father, who is not concerned at all that he is approaching sixty. His main goal in life is to be a good father, and he is very close to Priya. However, he knows that in the face of an argument, he must take his wife's side, rather than his daughter's, to avoid trouble. Priya's grandmother. She is not very opinionated, and seems to care more about traditional Indian rules of society, such as obeying her husband at all times, than much else. However, she also strives to keep her family together. Introduction Inciting Incident Rising Actions Climax Crisis Denouement Conclusion Nick drops Priya off at San Francisco International Airport, where she will leave for India to see her family who she has avoided for seven years. She is mainly visiting to tell her family about her engagement to an American. The family comments on the fact that Priya is 27 and still single, which brings shame on her family. Priya decides she will tell them about Nick as soon as possible. There is a disagreement regarding the marriage of Neelima and Anand. This is a direct blow to Priya's spirits, as Neelima is an Indian and a Brahmin, but not from Andhra Pradesh, yet they treat her like she is not part of the family. Priya feels that if they are so upset about Neelima, she will be disowned when she mentions Nick. Priya defends Neelima, but gets into frequent fights about American values and Indian values as a result. Priya lets slip to Sowmya, Nate, and Lata her engagement, but they promise not to tell anyone. Priya's dad, Ashwin, arrives and takes her for a walk. He tells her that he and Radha have set up a pelli-chupulu, or bride-seeing ceremony, for her, without her permission. Priya is visibly angered by this, but she doesn't disclose any information about her engagement due to a lack of courage. Priya and her aunt Sowmya both have bride-seeing ceremonies. Priya meets Adarsh, who is good looking and has lots of money. He seems interested in her, and openly tells her about his Chinese ex-girlfriend, and Priya realizes that she is hurting her family by hiding the truth. Just as Priya is about to tell her family about Nick, the phone rings. It is a phone call from Adarsh's family, and they are proposing to her. Priya's own family is very excited about what they believe is her impending marriage. In a fit of frustration, Priya says she can't marry Adarsh because she is engaged to an American. Her father storms out of the house and the entire family is outraged. Desperate, Priya calls her brother, who introduces her to his girlfriend, Tara. Tara tells Priya that she should do what makes her happy, and stop trying so hard to please others. Priya and Sowmya go to meet Sowmya's new fiance. Inspired by Priya's strength and independence, Sowmya wants to tell him that she will not marry him if she has to take care of his family or if she cannot get a job. He agrees to both. Priya's family arranges a meeting with Adarsh, in a last ditch effort to make her change her mind. He is originally angry with her, then he realizes that he is in no better of a position since Priya is living the life she wants to. Priya then understands that she made the wrong choice dropping a bomb like that, but that she will have to sacrifice some of her family's trust for Nick's love. In the midst of it all, Priya is worried because Nick has not answered his email or phones lately. She calls Frances, who reassures her that everything will be okay, both with Nick and her family. Priya tells her parents' neighbour, Murthy Auntie, about her engagement. She proceeds to tell everyone she knows, as does Adarsh. Priya and her father reconcile, and then he helps her mend the relationship with her mother. They come to accept that Priya is a grown woman who knows what she is doing. At dinner, Lata tells everyone she does not want an abortion or to know the gender of the baby. Thatha and Jayant are angry, but Sowmya tells them that it is her right and her choice. Priya's Thatha and father get into a fight because Ashwin is ready to accept her decision, but Thatha says he will disown her. Priya's mother and grandmother also stand up for her and Thatha realizes he has begun to tear his family apart. The main conflict is Man vs. Man Wo y people (Priya vs. her family, notably her mother and grandfather) There also exists Man vs. Society (Priya vs. the traditions of Indian culture, which she is strongly opposed to) And a strong sense of Man vs. Self Priya describes it as "..the American Priya and the Indian Priya" (Malladi, 69) but also struggles with her own decisions and conscience. The other characters experience the same conflicts in different contexts. For example, Sowmya vs. Society would describe her inability to find a man to propose to her, and Neelima vs. the Family would describe their hatred of her. In America, people generally look to marry for love. In India, arranged marriages are more common, and treated like a business deal. The American ideal is that people of different genders, races, and classes are considered equals. This is especially true among Priya's colleagues, friends, and acquaintances. In India, it is generally accepted that men and women have different roles, and people tend to think that all races are basically different and cannot co-exist. They also follow a caste system. The caste system, from highest to lowest rank: Brahmins
Shudras Priya's relatives are It is also important that people are from the same state of India, especially when it comes to marriages. In the past, people from lower castes were "untouchable," nowadays there is less restriction. In the book, the family servant from another caste cannot enter the kitchen. Hindus believe that in heaven, people are judged by their heirs. In the novel, Thatha is desperate for a male heir so that he will have a good place in heaven. Dress in America, especially for women, is usually less conservative than in India. There are even acceptable and unacceptable hairstyles in India, for example short hair is uncommon. Family Compare to... In America, it is considered respectable to mind one's own business. In India, gossip spreads quickly due to intense competition between families. Priya's family is very important to her, which is why she wants them to accept Nick. She is worried they will all hate her, but learns in the end that her family will love her through anything, stating that there are "some relationships you can't sever" (Malladi, 214) Trust Priya struggles with trust throughout the novel. She has betrayed her parents' trust, by going to America and falling in love with a foreigner when they told her not to. She betrays the trust of Adarsh and her family by not telling them about Nick right away, and she betrays Nick's trust by saying she will not go through with meeting Adarsh even though she feels like she has to. In the end, she does not have the full trust of most of the people she has betrayed, and she accepts that there are consequences when one is dishonest. Sacrifice Love At one point in the book, Priya makes a decision to not tell anyone about Nick and simply elope. This does not work out, since she realizes she would be hurting Nick and her family, as well as herself, and she loves them too much to hide from them. Even when she gets into disputes, she tells her family that she disagrees with them, but apologizes and stops the fighting because the loves them. Priya desperately wants to keep both her family and her fiance, but realizes this is not so simple. In the end her grandfather is the only one who refuses to relent, but Priya decides that she "...would have to sacrifice the granddaughter to keep the lover" (Malladi, 189) Choice Choice is an important theme to the secondary characters, but it is because of Priya that they learn the meaning of choice. After Priya makes her final decision to marry Nick instead of Adarsh, Sowmya and Lata are empowered to stop doing things just because those "above" them say they have to. Lata decides to keep the baby regardless of its gender, because she wants a child regardless of if it is a male heir. Sowmya, who wants to work and is tired of taking care of her family, arranges a meeting with her future husband to make sure he will allow her to do what she wants. For them, it is the first time they are free to decide on the outcome of their lives, and they realize that they do not have to do what others tell them to. Tolerance Priya seeks acceptance from her family, who she has always been different from, but their racist attitudes deter her from her course. Her family believes that just as they mistrust foreigners, foreigners mistrust Indians. Any negative trait in Priya is regarded as American influence. Neelima is also subject to intolerance simply because she is from a different state, and therefore is somehow inferior to Priya's family. Priya's hometown, where she stays at her grandparents' house.
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