Presentation on theme: "By Ruth Prawer Jhabvala"— Presentation transcript:
1 By Ruth Prawer Jhabvala The Young CoupleBy Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
2 Main Points High Hopes - full of initial optimism Happy Days - everything starts wellCathy & Naraian - in privateCathy & Naraian - in publicNaraian’s Friends - never accept herNaraian’s Family - try to control herFlat versus House - different worldsThe Novelty Fades - things turn sourCulture Clash - the root of the problem?
3 High Hopes Cathy: Naraian: Both of them: Cathy was thrilled at going back to India with NaraianNaraian:…the things Naraian would do for his country…in the service of his country.Both of them:…the challenge, the life of purpose that awaited them.
4 Happy Days Pathetic Fallacy: Free to do nothing: …everything was still pastel coloured…all the things that later would become violent and hot.Free to do nothing:Cathy wandered by herself…out on to the roof in her flimsy nylon nightie, yawning and plaiting and unplaiting her long blonde hair.Cathy ate a bit, read a bit, let the hours slip happily by tills he saw Naraian again.Pregnancy renews this:She looked forward to the future… ‘Her cup of happiness was full’She slept a lot, a delicious drowsiness stealing over her like kisses from a god.
5 Cathy & Naraian (private) Happy and free:…she always preferred to be alone with Naraian.…when there were only the two of them together, they were always completely happy.…they spent a lot of time lying on their beds or walking round the hot rooms stark naked together.Tender and affectionate:…his voice was tender, and so was the way he looked at her…Sexual chemistry:He drew her closer against himself, kissed her hair. She felt comforted and soothed.…soon they were lying on their bed together, fervently forgiving each other.
6 Cathy & Naraian (public) Distance between them:Naraian…took care to see that there was a decent few inches of space always between them…Cold and unaffectionate:…their hands, never for a moment, not even by accident, as much as touched.Prudishness and censorship:…yet he was always very much aware of what she was up to…and…managed to draw her attention to…accidental immodesties.
7 Naraian’s Friends He ignored her when with them: Naraian…loved being with his friends and quite often seemed to forget that Cathy was there with him.They never fully accepted her:…she felt all the time that her presence was a strain on them and they would have been happier without her.They are all the same:All of them were restless and discontented, like Naraian himself……he fumed indignantly against his own family in particular and against Indian families in general……one of their favourite subjects – the tyranny of family domination…
8 Naraian’s Family Double negatives = lukewarm: It was not that his family were not happy with Cathy…She could not complain that they did not care for her.Fault-finding and interfering:…they always had to parry some resentment……everything was the subject of scrupulous family concern…She found a lot of things amiss, in fact, almost everything.Treat her like an object:…his possessions, among whom he liked to number Naraian and blonde, English Cathy.…they pinched her cheek and patted her and found her altogether to their satisfaction.
9 Naraian’s Family (ctd.) Cathy hates the effect they have:...on Sunday mornings she always woke up sick.Almost ‘military’ force:…she began to feel almost as if they were forming a ring around her out of which she could not break.…she couldn’t shut out the sense of this large, well-fed family with Naraian and herself trapped in the middle of them.Now…no one was against anyone; it was as if they had joined forces.She and Naraian are ‘defeated’:…no more…the two of them brave young champions against the combined mass and power of the rest of the family.
10 Flat versus House A room with a view: The house is TOO much: They had a glorious view from their flat…they were very happy with it……the only thing Cathy could think of in defence was, but look at the view!The house is TOO much:…a certain heaviness about the house that weighed on her and made her feel oppressed, sleepy, liverish.too rich, abundant food…solid ornate pieces of furniture…waist-high vases…giant plumped-out cushionsOminous, looming presence:…ample satin bedspreads matching the curtains.…set within [the kiss] as in a heartshaped frame, she had a vision of the room that was being got ready for them…
11 The Novelty Fades They start to argue: She becomes bored: Cathy and Naraian began to bicker.…two ruffled pet birds in a cage.…in defiance, Cathy went out more frequently by herself.She becomes bored:…she felt frustrated…a little bored, and lonely.…whereas before she had felt time lapping deliciously round her in endless honeyed hours, now her feelings were ones of boredom.The endless hours were harsh not honeyed now.
12 The Novelty Fades (ctd) Disappointment sets in (for BOTH of them):…there was pain in his voice, for he, too, was disappointed…She sensed disappointment in the air, as if she had let everyone down.A sense of loss:…she heard his footsteps running away from her down the stone staircase.…something young and nice had gone out of Naraian’s life…She tried to stop crying but she couldn’t…deep sobs rose out of her chest.
13 Culture Clash Cathy comes from a different world: She would have welcomed a word from him to tell his family about the independence customarily enjoyed as a right by English girls.…what did poor Cathy know about our Indian preparations…?Harassed and assaulted:…she was stared at, sometimes mocked for being white and different……sly men with dirty fingers touched her surreptitiously from out of the crowd.‘It’s not Oxford Street, you know’:‘You can’t just saunter down the road as you please.’‘Our girls do not go into these bazaars alone. It is not proper for us.’