At the start of the novel, Anil did not have inspiration or courage to continue with her studies as an archeologist. Anil “[...] seemed timid to herself. She felt lost and emotional.” (Ondaatje 142). Anil was at a low point in her life, and felt vulnerable because her parents had died in a car crash and she was living in London – a city new to her. After a while she would meet a man from Colombo, who was a med student. This man “[...] focused his wits entirely on Anil [...]” (142) this man seemed perfect in the sense that he was “[...] a many-armed seducer and note writer and flower bringer and telephone-message leaver [...]” (142). He seemed like the perfect man for Anil, someone to make her special and loved. However, Anil relies on her self a lot, therefore; it was no wonder that once she gained back the courage and inspiration she had before the marriage, she would leave. Gradually, Anil is slowly getting back to the same state she once was, therefore; not needing her husband anymore. It was apparent that the marriage would not last as “At home the two of them fought […] over everything.” (143). One must go through downs before they experience ups – through Anil, this is shown by her marrying a man for her own benefits, to gain courage so she may do other things in her lie such as change her name, do her job, and ultimately divorce her husband she had met from Colombo.
Furthermore, Anil displayed courage by going through great lengths to create her own identity and take control of her own life decisions. In the course of a travelling life and a series of broken relationships, Anil has re-defined her self as that girl who “[…] live[s] here […] in the West.” (36). Anil has the advantage of re-defining her self in a new place because no one knows about her past life and what she has done, therefore; she may say anything to make her sound like she fits in, even though she does not know the language. To get to where Anil wanted to be (Sri Lanka), Anil has...
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