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The story is about a girl called Leela, who lives with her parents Mr and Mrs Sivasanker; they live in a rich society and so are at the top of the hierarchical system. Leela seems to have an influence on desicions; this shown mainly when they want to hire a servant/carer for her, she makes the final decision of who it is.
His name is Sidda and Leela really likes having him around, he plays with her and also does housework too.He really makes her happy.
One day, Sidda and Leela go out and when they return, Mrs Sivasanker notices that Leela’s gold chain that she had been wearing is missing,she asks Leela where it is but she does not know, she then asks Sidda where it is and he also replies that he does not know. Mrs Sivasanker mentions the police and when she goes into the kitchen for a minute, he vanishes.
Mr Sivasanker reports Sidda to the police and finds that Sidda is a known criminal to them. Leela still supports Sidda, despite the fact that that he is a criminal. Her control is now somewhat weakened as her views are not considered when she feels most strongest about them.
Sidda is later found, he still denies stealing the chain and he is put in prison.
Later on, Leela’s chain is found in a pot in the house. Mr Sivasanker realises that Sidda did not steal it and so tells the police. Sidda is released but Mr Sivasanker still thinks of him as a criminal and does not give him his job back.
The story is set in India. It is in an area where people of high society live. The house of the Sivasanker family is big and rich, as it is said to have a ‘veranda’
LEELA – A spoilt daughter of rich parents. She has the power over her parents in the family. (whenever she wants something, she gets it)
SIDDA – A poor man from almost at the bottom of the caste system. He does what he is told. He is uneducated and is a known criminal to the police.
MR SIVASANKER – A man who is at the top of the caste system, he is rich and he seems to think that people lower down, towards the bottom of the caste system, are bad / criminals etc.
MRS SIVASANKER – the wife of Mr Sivasanker and the mother of Leela. She is quite a flat character in the story.
The themes explored in this story are:
Hierarchy / caste system (Mr Sivasanker at the top and Sidda is at the bottom)
Difference in poverty and wealth (prejudice e.g. judging someone without even knowing them - Sidda)
Parent / child relationships with who has the power. (Leela has the power at the beginning instead of Mr Sivasanker, it is then transferred to Mr Sivasanker.)
‘I like him, don’t send him away. Keep him in our house’.
That was the decision on keeping Sidda, made by Leela.
‘…was utterly incapable of plying the pencil’.
This shows that Sidda is uneducated.
‘His throat went dry. He blinked and answered that he did not know’.
This gives the thought of a guilty person. (even though Sidda isn’t)
‘He is a thief; he has taken away your gold chain’.
This shows that they (Mr and Mrs Sivasanker) totally believed that Sidda had
taken the chain, just because he had been a criminal.
‘Day by day she clung closer to him’.
This shows that Leela is grows fond of Sidda in a short time.
‘it was unmistakeably Leela’s chain’.
The parents were wrong and it was definitely Leela’s chain that was found in a pot
and it wasn’t stolen by Sidda.
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