Literary Contexts in Short Stories: Anjana Appachana's 'The Prophecy'

Dhahir, Sanna
September 2006
Literary Contexts in Short Stories: Anjana Appachana's 'The Prop;2006, p1
Literary Criticism
The essay provides a literary summary and analysis of Anjana Appachana's short story "The Prophecy." It is structured in such a way as to shed light on the historical, societal, religious, scientific, and biographical contexts that are clearly at work in Appachana's conception of her work. To convey the different messages of the story, Appachana's narrator and protagonist, Hemlatha, examines her own life and the life of a close friend, Amrita, during a time when the two shared a room at a college hostel, notable for its strict and stifling rules, in Delhi. Amrita's pregnancy (the result of her relationship with a university student), the girls' efforts to terminate it, and an unpredicted miscarriage brought about by the measles constitute the major parts of the plot. The effects of these experiences on both characters are mainly revealed in a letter Amrita writes to Hemlatha and in the latter's reflections on the narrative's events. Although the girls end up losing their youthful illusions about life, career possibilities, and male-female relationships, they also gain a useful understanding of their situation in a place still ridden by tradition and patriarchy. The story certainly merits reading: the writer's vivid imagery, poetic style, down-to-earth dialogue and refreshing humor turn the narrative into a lively picture of Indian life.


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