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What Lies Beneath: Analytical Essay

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What lies beneath: Analytical Essay

What lies beneath, has many hidden messages. Some are very easy, yet others can be subtler. The story itself, is about, the underlying ugly truth, that lies just beneath the surface. It can’t be seen, but you can feel it and hear it. Slowly corrupting everything it touches. From a cupboard to an entire house and family.

To begin with, I would like to look at the main characters and the point of view. To start with, we have Indrani. She is a stay at home mother, who takes care of her children. She is a very nervous person and is somewhat paranoid. The main reason that she and Kumar moved to Wanstead, a small suburb outside of London, was because Indrani in some sense feared, that someone would put something horrible in their letter box. Next, we have her husband Kumar. Kumar is a very strict and firm husband. He in some regards, wants to know everything. He questioned Indrani, in a very angry manner, about the pair of trainers and the cheese. He even asked Indrani if she had gone mad. I also suspect that he is a very religious man. Kumar especially talks about keeping the house “clean”, and he also has some resentment for roast beef. He could then be Muslim, or perhaps Hindu, since you are not allowed to eat cow in Hindu religion. We also meet several side characters in the story, who all has a purpose, which I will dig into later. Moving on from the characters, we could dwell into the point of view of the story. Now the story is told from Indrani’s point of view. This gives us clear insight to her thoughts and feelings, but it also limits are knowledge about the other characters, as we have no way of knowing, what they are thinking. Due to this point of view, we can also see Indrani’s frustration and anxiety. The anxiety, of sticking out from the rest of the inhabitants of the suburb.

But let’s focus on something else. If we look at the symbolism in the text, we will quickly realize that there is something that lies beneath the text. The story itself takes place in a suburb outside of London. It is told to be a nice suburb, compared to another suburb called Brick Lane, which incidentally has a lot of immigrants, (I know this from the list of words on the side of the paper). On the surface, is a nice, and ordinary suburb, which seems to be the perfect world for Indrani and her family, but something lies beneath, it all. The interactions between Indrani and another woman illustrates, this point, “The lady next door seemed very nice when we first arrived and asked if there was anything I wanted to know about the area and didn’t Hanif have lovely brown eyes”. To me, it seems as if this woman deliberately points out that Hanif has brown eyes, insinuating that there is a difference between Indrani and her family from the rest of the suburb. Almost making Indrani and her children the ugly ducklings. And it’s not just her. When Indrani talked with one of the men from the counsel, he tells her, that, “I’m partial to a curry on a Friday night myself”. Here he indirectly says that Indrani and her family, is not from around here. Directly creating a contrast to the between Indrani and the counsel men.



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