What are our first impressions of Meena and her family?
1. Meena - Meena has two sides to her personality, what she calls a ‘dual identity’. She has one identity with her family and being brought up within a cultural family. She has another identity with her friends in a British environment. But throughout the book sharp aspects of her personality shine through. She is desperate for an adventure. ‘When would anything dangerous and cruel happen to me’. As she says here, she wants some adventure, something to spice up her ‘boring’ life. ‘If what that dog had was madness, I wanted some of it. Even then I felt I spent my whole life saying sorry’. This evidence tells us that she is quite rebellious and another piece of evidence pointing towards the fact that she wants some adventure in her life. She is a drama queen as she tell us of the hot dog incident. ‘I squeezed my hot dog and suddenly the sausage shot into my mouth and lodged itself firmly in my windpipe’. This supports my statement that she is a drama queen as this event sounds exaggerated. She is very opinionated and she lies a lot. ‘Telling a group of visiting kids in the park that I was a Punjabi Princess and owned an elephant called Jason King’. This tells us how imaginative she is. It also shows us how her cultural identity reflects through into her other identity. 2. Papa - To Meena her father is an admonitory figure, he holds the authority. ‘He could traverse continents with a stride and hold the planets in the palm of his hand’. This tells us that she has respect for her father. ‘”That’s enough!”, barked papa’. This tells us that her father does five discipline and mostly it is for Meena expressing her opinionated feelings. But he does have a soft spot. ‘My father showed he was sorry by buying me a hot dog on the way back’. Her parents had aspirations for a better life in the UK. 3. Mama - Meena and her mother have an on/off relationship. Meena doesn’t like the fact that her mum doesn’t tell her...
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