A Suitable Boy Analysis

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The mammoth novel, A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth, narrates in the third person, the interwining lives and relationships over a period of eighteen months of a cross-section of individuals of family in and around or connected with Brahmpur, an imaginary North Indian city. The guiding thread is supplied by a quite traditional theme, namely a young woman’s search for husband. Lata, a nineteen year old student of English Literature, examines the claims of three rival suitors before making her choice in the final pages.

Along the way, Seth’s narrative not only explores the Indian society of the ‘Post Raj’ period in its multiple political, religious, cultural and communal ramifications but also raises a wide and stimulating range of issues relating to aspects of social problems.

The novel is divided into nineteen parts, with each part focusing on a different story amidst the four families namely the Mehras, the Kapoors, the Khans and the Chatterjis. The story of the extended families helps the novelist to move back and forth. The streamline of the novel is as said before a young girl’s quest. Lata is the only round character in the novel. Mrs.Rupa Mehra, Lata’s mother is looking for a ‘suitable boy’ for her ‘strongwilled’ daughter. ‘Suitable’ here means Hindu that is a Hindu boy, but Lata seems to have set her eyes on a Muslim boy Kabir Dhurrani. But she instead sensibly decides to marry a rather uncouth self-made businessman. In the meantime she also sensibly
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