He was weary of them all. Theirinsipidness and insolencetorched his already torturedsoul and he wished with thedesperation of a man whocared too much that he coulddown the street with a ton full ofpetroleum, light a match andwatch his neighbours and theirmindlessness burst into rip-
Uncle Das, afterretirement, suffers fromlow self-esteem,forgetting how to lookgood and feel good.
With a head of dark, curlinghair and a washboardstomach, he held the worldin the palm of his handsonly to realise, years later,that the world was a jokeand he, the designatedfool. pg 190
His wife when they used totalk, never failed to teasehim about the soft rollswrapping around his waist,poking at it and laughing tosee it ripple about like jelly.He would laugh too, justglad to see her smile. pg
This is Jeannie’s favouriteplace, he suddenlyremembered. She wouldcome here with her friendsto pluck the peanut-shapedfruit and...in the wind. Hottears sprang into his eyes.pg 193
I knew it was veryimportant to hear andremember his last wordsbecause he was myfriend’s father and he wasdying. pg 195
• He goes under thetamarind tree• Pours petrol all overhimself• Lights a fire and getsdevoured by the flamesAll in an attempt to commitsuicide
She tells the storyMovingNamedThe little girl(Narrator)
She is a 10 year-oldschool girl whowitnesses her friendJeannie’s Father, UncleDas, setting himselfafire.
The little girl representsirony.• Disguised as a naïveand naughty littlecreature who playswith toys like any
I remember waking up tomy mother’s touch andimmediately screwed upmy face to express intensepain.[…] I promptly wentback to sleep, proud of mytheatrical panache andfeeling a mite sorry for thesimplicity of adult minds.
I made myself comfortableon the cement ground, gladfor the shade from theoverhead awning, andarranged the cups,saucers, knives and teapotexactly as I had seen itdone in the women’s
She would come here withher friends to pluck thepeanut-shaped fruit andclimb its branches,spending many an eveningafter school pretending itwas a pirate ship swayingin the wind. pg 193
But she ends upshowing a great deal ofmaturity and a betterpresence of mind thanmost of the adultneighbours.
All I could think at thatpoint was that Uncle Dassomehow needed me. Iscrambled over the fence,dashed across the streetand crouched by his side.pg 194
They stood flinching awayfrom the body, reacting insuch unconcealed horrorone would think that UncleDas was suddenly going toleap up, grab at them andleave soot stains all overtheir freshly laundered
So with the maturity of 10years of experience, I saidwhat I knew would be theright thing to say, whatUncle Das had in his heartbut could not put intowords. pg 197
The other characters• Uncle Das’ Wife• Jeannie (Uncle Das’Daughter)• The neighbours
The other characters- Shouts at her husband- Gets tired of pretendingto be happyUncle Das’ Wife
A portrayal of a wife whodeliberately drives herhusband to his grave
Going off at midnight,deliberately coming homeonly when Das is away,and finally refusing to lookat her dying husband ashe struggles to live…
The other characters- Sweet 10 year-olddaughter of Uncle Das- Friend of the little girl(Narrator)- Loves fried rice with stringJeannie
The story is written bySaffura Chinniah.- Begins with 3rd person- On 4th page 1st persontakes over- Overlapping of 1st and3rd person
She places herself inthe skin of the little girland narrates the story
I had just turned ten. It wasa school day and I wassupposed to sit for aspelling test given outmonthly by Mrs Ang, alsoknown as the Dragon Lady.I remember waking up tomy mother’s touch... pg
However,The author uses the“all-knowing” 3rd personto give a biggerdimension to the 1stmain character (Uncle
He waited for his wife toleave for work in themorning, prepared hisdaughter’s favorite lunchof…pg 189“A man’s gotta do what aman’s gotta do, and there’snever a better time so itmight as well be today,” hethought aloud with a wrysmile, amused at havingused this Hollywood machowar cry. pg 189