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Leela’s Friend By R. K. Narayan.

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1 Leela’s Friend By R. K. Narayan

2 Main Points Caste Prejudice - Sidda never stands a chance
Leela and Sidda - a special friendship Sidda - weak and vulnerable Adults versus Sidda - prejudice Adults versus Leela - condescension Leela versus Adults - stubborn and principled

3 Caste Prejudice Treated impersonally Homeless Assume the worst
…brooding over the servant problem. ‘Doesn’t seem to be a bad sort… At any rate, the fellow looks tidy.’ Homeless …indicated a vague somewhere… ‘Why should he always be made to sleep outside the house, Mother?’ Assume the worst It seems he is an old criminal…The police know his haunts. These fellows…have no fear. Nothing can make them confess.

4 Leela and Sidda Source of happiness Mutual devotion Extremely close
Leela…looked at Sidda and gave a cry of joy. His company made her supremely happy. It gave her great joy to play the teacher to Sidda. Mutual devotion …Sidda had to drop any work he might be doing and run to her… She pitied him and redoubled her efforts to teach him. Extremely close Day by day she clung closer to him…all her waking hours. I won’t sleep unless Sidda comes and tells me stories. She clung to Sidda’s hand…in tears.

5 Sidda Magical imagination Human limitations Treated like an animal
‘…if you stand on a coconut tree you can touch the sky.’ …told incomparable stories… Human limitations [Sidda], though an adept at controlling the moon, was utterly incapable of plying the pencil. Treated like an animal Sidda stood with a bowed head…looking at the ground. He looked at her mutely, like an animal.

6 Adults versus Sidda Mr Sivisanker Mrs Sivisanker The Police
…subjected him to a scrutiny… …grew very excited over all this… …in any case, we couldn’t have kept a criminal like him in the house. Mrs Sivisanker Leela’s mother threw a glance at him and thought the fellow already looked queer. The thought of Sidda made her panicky. ‘What a rough fellow he must be!’ said his wife with a shiver. The Police What a devil you mist be to steal a thing from such an innocent child!’

7 Adults versus Leela Bullying Condescension Irritation
Her mother gave her a slap and said, “How many times have I told you…” …attempting to make her lie down… ‘Sleep, Leela, sleep,’ she cajoled. Condescension …all of them laughed… ‘You are not a reliable prosecution witness, my child,’ observed the inspector humorously. ‘Baby, if you don’t behave, I will be very angry with you.’ Irritation All of this bother on account of her.

8 Leela versus Adults Chooses Sidda Defends Sidda
‘Don’t send him away. Let us keep him in our house.’ And that decided it. Defends Sidda ‘I don’t like you, Mother. You are always abusing and worrying Sidda.’ ‘…leave him alone. I want to play with him.’ Disapproving and superior ‘Let him be,’ Leela replied haughtily. Leela felt disgusted with the whole business.

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