Transition from Dependence to Independence

  • pg 175

    "It was not easy to dismiss her" Direct Characterization, boori ma's presence is appriciated
  • Pg 176

    "In exchange for her lodging below the letter boxes, Boori Ma kept their crooked staircase spotlessly clean"- Direct Characterization emphasizes that the author NEEDS you to know that they are dependent on each other.
  • pg 177

    "Most of all, the residents liked that she stood ground between them and the outside world" - Direct Characterization emphasizes the importance of their dependence on each other.
  • pg. 177

    "No one owned much worth stealing" - Direct Characterization. Most of the exposition of the characters is through direct characterization, before dialouge begins.
  • pg 182

    Boori Ma says "there is no need" in responce to Mrs. Dalal suggesting change. This indirect characterization through dialouge draws inference to Boori Ma's anxiety over change. It implies that Boori Ma would prefer stability.
  • Pg 184

    Boori Ma did nothing as "her quilts turned to yogurt" because she "recalled her conversation with Mrs. Dalal" - Most of the story is through Direct Characterization, including here. It is at this point in the story that the authors descriptions of Boori Ma's dependence really start to turn into actions, this being the most explicit one.
  • pg. 185

    the residents always "assured Boori Ma that she was always welcome" - the residents also appriciate Boori Ma
  • pg 187

    This is a true turning point within the story- "In his excitment Mr. Dalal had bought two basins." This is where the characters begin emerging as independent. The author uses direct characterization of his actions, however it takes inference from the reader to relate this to signs of independence.
  • pg 189

    "this way everyone can use it" - Mr. Dalal "The residents were delighted" This is where the characterization of Mr. Dalal becomes indirect, allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions. Lahiri allows Mr. Dalal to speak for himself, however still continues to use direct characterization for the other residents, signaling their continued dependence on each other. The effect that this contrast in characterization has is that it draws an inference to the reader that Mr. Dalal is unique or chang
  • pg 191

    Boori Ma complains early on about the water basin. "She sniffed. 'Our bathwater was scented..." The author again uses indirect characterization to make the reader come to the conclusion that she doesnt like the basin. But the fact that she complains very early on is unique about her, emphasizing her dislike for change, even if it is seemingly good.
  • 191

    "A sure sign of changing times" - Mr. Chatterjee. Lahirir directly states what will take place- a change- however only indirectly characterizes Mr. Chatterjee through his dialouge. Another example of personality emerging.
  • pg. 192

    "Resentment quickly brewed...each grew frustrated....The dalals had their own sink; why did the rest of them have to share?" - Unified at the begining by direct characterization through description, however, by the end the narrator is looking at the situation from the tenants perspective. She uses each and their own to highlight the growing desire for independence. Begins nuetral, but ends biased.
  • 192

    "Is it beyond us to buy sinks of our own? One of them burst out" "Are the Dalals the only ones who can improve the conditions of this building? asked another." - Finally, Lahiri switchs over from descriptive characterization to dialouge. This marks a definite change in the tenets, from dependent to independent. The tenents are speaking for themselves now, instead of Lahiri doing it for them.
  • 194

    "Of all the people who lived in that building, Boori Ma was the only one who wished them a safe journey." - As they chaos has begun, Boori Ma alone wishing them goodbye signifies her continued dependence on them, and how she is the only one who still needs them. None of the other tenents felt the need to say good bye.
  • 194

    Lahirir continues to characterize the tenants through their actions, not just them changing but them literally going out with the old, in with the new. "One decided to barter wedding bracelets for a white washer... another pawned her sewing machine to summon an exterminator... a third sold back a set of bowls, to paint the shutters yellow."
  • 195

    Amongst all this change, Boori Ma is still the same. "There was no need to use the basin downstairs, for she could just as easily wash, as she always had, from the tap. she still planned to polish the banister poles with her quilts. She continued to sleep on her newspapers." Here, Lahiri contrasts Boori Ma completely from the tenents. Boori ma is still using the same things, and Lahiri makes a point of it, emphasizing her growing difference from the rest of the tenents, who are rapidly changing.
  • 196

    "Her mornings were long, her afternoons longer...she wondered when the Dlals would return with her new bedding. She grew restless on the roof..." - Lahiri slows the action by repetition of longer, insinuating the feeling of repetition that Boori Ma has in her daily life. But instead of buying bedding on her own, she spends her money foolishly, thinking that poeple will still take care of her; that she can still be dependent. She doesnt realize that she's relying on false hopes.
  • pg 197

    "This is all her doing...where was she?" one of them hollered. "for days she has been wondering the streets" another reported. "We shared our coal, gave her a place to sleep. How could she betray us?" a thrid wanted to know." The tenents are no longer characterized as one unity, but individuals saying seperate things. Each tenant gives little thought to Boori Ma's dependence, instead believing Boori Ma was in control of everything. Lahiri breaks up the quotes seperately, reinforcing independenc
  • 199

    "One of the residents said, "Boori Ma has endangered the security of this building. We have valuables. The widow Mrs. Misra lives alone with her phone. What should we do?" This signifies the point of complete transformation of the residents. The line "we have valuables" is the opposite of the begining. Also, this is again done through use of dialouge and indirect characterization, leaving the reader with that sense of independence, up to them to deside what should be done.
  • 199

    "Boori Ma's mouth is full of ashes. But that is nothing new. What is new is the face of this building. What a building like this needs is a real durwan" - Mr. Chatterjee, the most independent of them all, gives the final say. The tenents changed, and adapted to their situation, ready to find a real durwan