Rich Like Us Character Analysis

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Nayantara Sahgal’s “Rich like Us” carries forward her work of fiction which deals with India’s elite responding to the crisis triggered off by political change. This book, like her other novels, depicts the political unrest in India and the historical struggle for independence and the fight against colonialism, during the period 1957-1977. The novel is dedicated to the “Indo British experience and what its sharers have learned from each other” (Rich Like Us, 3). It portrays several Indian families of the 1970s as it deals with the most disturbing political, economic and cultural changes during the Emergency period, imposed by Indira Gandhi.

It entwines the tale of two upper class females, Rose, the “Cockney memsahib”, a British immigrant and wife of a powerful native businessman Ram and Sonali, a young female Indian civil servant. Sonali struggles to find truth and logic in this ever changing homeland, India while Rose struggles to find a sense of home in this foreign society
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In my opinion, which can both be considered a strength as well as a weakness of the book is the fact that Sahgal deals with so many themes from sati to corruption to religion to the British Raj to Ramyana to partition to the politics which on one hand is an amazing collection of thoughts and on the other hand, might be too overwhelming and sometimes irrelevant at times. Sahgal’s writing is clear, beautiful and uses simple language, which is easy to understand. She however, at times goes overboard with metaphors, which makes a simple thing tough to comprehend. Also, the author shits from one character to another too quickly, hence the reader finds it difficult to cope up and might get lost at times. The novel, according to me, also lacks a pull in the story, which is a must for a good fiction. However, it is a good read for someone who wants a glimpse of that era and the problems faced by the people during that
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