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message 1: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 3965 comments Mod
1. Does Dina find that self reliance is possible?
2. Why do some, like Dina and Maneck, refuse to involve themselves in politics while others, like Narayan and Avinash, eagerly do so? Which position is the better or wiser one?
3. Why does Dina survive and others do not?

message 2: by Anna (new)

Anna Fennell | 107 comments Yes, Dina is self-reliant for nineteen years. She might have been more so if her brother had not removed her from schooling early. I think Dina and others realize the hopelessness of politics. Nothing will change and even if a political bigwig is removed someone will take their place. In addition, she is concerned with her day to day life that is hard to pay attention to politics. I think it is important to be informed about what is going on. However, if you are going to take a stand, you need to do is smartly.
Dina is stubborn. When her husband dies, she could have succumbed to her sadness like her mother but she does not. Instead, she rises up and continues her life. That determination helps her survive.

message 3: by Book (new)

Book Wormy | 1922 comments Mod
I agree with Anna in regard to Dina.

In the end though Dina finds that self reliance is not possible and she has to return to her brother.

With regard to which position is the wiser one, in terms of self preservation it was definitely much wiser to ignore politics and maintain the status quo, in terms of changing things for the better brave people needed to stand up.

Dina survives because she has her brother to fall back on, if she was alone I am sure she would not have made it.

message 4: by Eadie (new)

Eadie (eadieburke) I agree with both Anna and Book.

I was also happy to see the changes in Dina and her attitude towards the tailors and finally helping them.

message 5: by Pip (new)

Pip | 1357 comments Dina was unusual in that she made a brave attempt to be independent. Her circumstances made her mistrustful but she gradually learned to trust the tailors. In the end she had to admit defeat and return to her brother's household where she had been taken for granted. She was in a precarious position so she had little in the way of resources, either personal or fiscal to attempt to change society.

message 6: by Josh (new)

Josh | 13 comments Independence is an illusion. Biologically, life can't exist apart from life outside itself. I think this is true sociologically as well. In an urban setting, this is even more obvious. The only time in the novel where it seemed like Dina had attained happiness, it was in times where she was dependent on 1) Rustom and 2) Maneck and the tailors. But the answer isn't merely in dependence, because at the close of the novel she is dependent upon her brother, and she is far from happiness.

message 7: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 3965 comments Mod
Dina was closed initially but I still liked her. I liked that she was so determined to survive. I also liked how she developed as she came to know the tailors. She really grew as a person.

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