Who is the author?
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
A few important facts about the author...
She has written many books
What is the setting?
Calcutta, India in the 1980s
Why is the setting important to the plot?
It is important to the plot because it affects how women were treated in society and the particular time/place.
What are the titles of the 2 books within the novel?
The Princess in the Palace of Snakes
The Queen of Swords
Summarize the story of The Princess in the Palace of Snakes
There was a princess who lived in an underwater palace filled with snakes. She didn't know there was more to life until the prince came. He carried a jewel which made the waters part. It wasn't as if he was looking for a princess. When he spoke, she knew she'd never be satisfied with just her snakes anymore.
Summarize the story of The Queen of Swords
There was a princess who spent her girlhood in a crumbling marble palace set around with guards. When she married, the firecrackers at her wedding were so loud that no one could hear heart breaking. Her husband's house was the same as her own, except more reserved. When they discovered the baby was a girl, the guards aimed their poison spears at the queen's belly so they could destroy the baby before she could be born. Placing her hands on her belly, she felt two swords being passed into her hands. The queen kept searching for a new home, until the day she reached the ocean's edge and there was no place for her to go. Then her twin sister extended a rainbow from the other side of the earth to her. And with her daughter in one hand with the other she grasped the rainbow.
How does the story of the Princess and the Palace of the Snakes relate to the plot and themes of the novel?
Sudha learned that from living a closed environment her whole life, she was used to sameness. Without Ashok "she'd never have known who she was". By escaping from too much safety, she saw herself for the first time.
How does the story of The Queen of Swords relate to the plot and themes of the novel?
Sudha's marriage with Ramesh and how she ran away to save what little happiness she had left.
Foreshadowing involving Singhji...
--"Singhji appeared at our gate one morning-like a godsend..."
--when Sudha watches him she saw in his eyes "the kind of look an exiled king might have as he thinks about the he left behind."
particular place and time at which a story takes place
person or force that opposes, struggles against, or competes with the protagonist
ex: society, evil mother-in-law, secret, the conflict of growing up
use of clues or hints to suggest events that will occur later in the plot; presenting an indication of something beforehand
ex: Singhji throughout the whole story
German term for a coming-of-age story
when an author interrupts the plot to flash backward and tell what happened at an earlier time
ex: Aunt Pishi's story to Sudha about the death of their fathers
refers to the perspective from which the author tells the story
ex: 1st person
point of view
characters who play other major parts in the story
ex: Sunil, Singhji
characters that play a small role in the story
ex: servant, Sunil's father
symbolism occur in literature when something represent something else and holds significance
ex: Sudha, Anju
any character who changes greatly over the course of a story
ex: Sudha, Gouri Ma
undergoes almost no noticeable personality changes throughout the story
ex: Ashok, Nalini, Ramesh
a message about life, society, or human nature
What are the six parts of a plot line?
1) introduction/exposition 2) initial incident 3) rising action 4) climax 5) falling action 6) resolution
occurs toward beginning. Introduction of the characters.
ex: first 2 chapters-we know the conflict, the backdrop, the characters
near beginning. initiates the action and sets up the main question
ex: Pishi tells Sudha the story about father's death
most of the book. complications arise as the characters take the steps to resolve conflict
ex: (more than 1 event) when girls skip school for movie, get married, Sunil comes to bookstore
ex: Anju-miscarriage, handkerchief
conflict/climax in the process of resolution
ex: Anju-trying to keep amends with Sunil or preparing for Sudha to come to America
ex: two are holding child and are coming to reunite and make new lives for themselves and the baby
defiant daughter of Gouri Ma who loves books and dreams of traveling. However she makes plans to go to college, she is married and loves Sunil
Anju's biological mother who became strong and hardworking after the death of her husband
considered a mother of both Anju and Suda. She is a widow like Gouri Ma and Nalini. Bijoy's older sister
Aunt Pishi (Didi)
family driver who reveals himself to be Sudha's father. He came to the 3 widows for a job with any salary they could afford.
Anju's father and Gouri Ma's husband who died on a expedition to find a ruby. He was kind and loved Gopal like a brother
marries Anju but has some kind of crush on Sudha. However he is a very good husband to Anju and he lives in America.
Anju's unborn son, his name means god of love
beautiful daughter of Nalini. When she finds out she is not who she thinks she is, it troubles her for years, however, she later finds out it is nothing to worry about
Sudha's biological mother but is harshest on Sudha, but she has a reason to with her surprising past. He elopement with Gopal changed her life
old servant woman who chaperons Sudha and Anju everywhere
Sudha's "deceased" father who died on an expedition with Bijoy to find rubies. In the story we find out who he truly is and that he is alive
in love with Sudha ever since they met at a movie. He really wants to marry Sudha but fate leads them to another destiny
Sudha's husband who is clearly in love with her but when his mom is stubborn he is hopeless and won't help Sudha
Sudha's daughter who was rejected by Ramesh's mother. Her name means beloved and she comes with Sudha to live in the United States with Anju and Sunil