Analysis Of Katherine Boo's Behind The Beautiful Forevers

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Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers showcases the lives of several slum dwellers of Annawadi, a slum situated closely to the Mumbai Airport. The book goes through many of the Annawadi inhabitants’ lives, concentrating on individual character’s conflicts, including personal challenges, and their journey of actions to overcome them. The characters each have a unique mystique in which produces great role models to a general audience, including especially the reader. Abdul, Manju, and Sunil are three characters of Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers that are particularly portrayed as role models. The book quickly introduces Abdul Husain with a police chase with his father. “Midnight was closing in, the one-legged woman was grievously…show more content…
While Abdul was born into his family, and Manju had a mother who was a political figure, Sunil grew up in an orphanage. Sunil was only in the orphanage up until the age of eleven, eventually getting kicked out because “Sister Paulette decided that boys over eleven years old were too much to handle.” (33) Having been kicked out of the only place he could remotely recall as home, Sunil had to discover the ways of living in the slums. He had a younger sister, Sunita, making Sunil’s responsibilities greater, as he had to take care of two lives instead of one at the young age of eleven. Together, the siblings would sit outside huts during dinnertime in hopes of scoring a meal from those who would reside in them. For Sunil, this trick had lost it’s touch when he turned twelve and one time he had to sell his father’s, and even his own, slippers to Abdul for food. “In his first weeks back home, scavenging skills rusty, he took the sandals from the feet of his sleeping father and sold them to Abdul for food.” (35) Times were extensively tough, and that called for tough measures. As if all was not already bad for Sunil, he faced a personal conflict. Sunil found that he was significantly shorter than the rest of his age. “He looked closer to nine years old than to twelve, a fact that pained him on a masculine level… He’d tried to believe that his body was just pausing, gathering strength in advance of some strenuous enlargement.” (34-35) There is a time where Abdul asks Sunil a question. “Do you ever think when you look at someone, when you listen to someone, does that person really have a life?” (198) This question triggered something in Sunil. Sunil thought to himself that he had a life, a bad life, but a life nevertheless. “But something he’d come to realize on the roof, leaning out, thinking about what would happen if he leaned too far, was that a boy’s life could still matter to himself.” (199)
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