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Archives > 9. Discuss the title of the book; A Fine Balance

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message 1: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 4114 comments Mod
In what way do you think the quote; ‘You have to maintain a fine balance between hope and despair. In the end it’s all a question of balance?’ reflect the struggles and triumphs of the book’s characters?

message 2: by Anna (new)

Anna Fennell | 107 comments This statement and the events that unfold for the characters is perfect. Every time the characters had hope that their life would change and things would improve some catastrophic event would come along to ruin this tipping of the scales. It became so commonplace for the tailors that a waiter at the restaurant they went to joked that they were living an epic story or a present day Mahabharata. If you look at Om and Ishvar, they change their destiny by learning a trade as a tailor. This will make their life better but Om's entire family is murdered in their village and then the shop they work at is run out of business by a bulk clothing store. They go to the city to find work and stay with a friend of the shop owner. To discover, the friend is not very nice and they cannot find work for six months. When they do, they run into many problems just trying to get to work. They acquire housing and settle in just to have that knocked down after they pay for a month's rent (out of money and out of a house). They make arrangements to sleep on a doorstep of a shop and they are picked up for a labor camp. There they are both injured and sick. They are saved by a beggar master and agree to pay him to protect them. They return and go back to work for Dina who allows them to stay on her veranda. She gets an eviction notice from the landlord who then sends out some goons to rough them up. They report all of this to the beggar master who takes care of the problem for them and it goes on and on and on. However, they never lose themselves through all their tribulations -- even at the end of the book when they have all Om, Ishvar, and Dina been physically changed they are still them.

message 3: by Book (new)

Book Wormy | 1989 comments Mod
I think Anna has covered this nicely the good is wiped out by the bad and vice versa as life continues to happen regardless.

message 4: by Josh (new)

Josh | 13 comments There didn't seem to be much hope in this book. It was very heavy in despair. Perhaps the statement about hope and despair is written to show the impossibility of that balance. The "real" balance is a ton of despair with only glimmers of hope. If I had to describe the book in one word it would be hopeless. The fine balance perhaps is the small possibility of circumstances that leads to happiness. The stars really have to align in order for this to happen, it is a very fine balance.

message 5: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 4114 comments Mod
Loved the title of this book and the quote. And it only took a little thing to upset the balance and result in great tragedy.

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