The story is set in Malaysia on a hot night in March; a young boy who lives in remote village witnesses a terrible tragedy and is forced to forget what he saw and keep quiet about it. The headman of the village sends him to university so that the dark secrets don’t escape within the village; Anil finally realises the true nature of his corrupt town. Anil’s relationship with the family seems distant, this is because they are not well integrated and certain aspects of their relationship can be described as dysfunctional. Reason being is it lacks the bond and communication that a family relationship should have. The causal aggression that the father has on Anil is shown with ‘the bruise on her shoulder’ suggest that there is no real bond between them and it shows within Anil as he comes across as ‘different’ compared to the villagers in the story he has his own opinions and understands justice in some sides. Anil is presented to be very childlike at the tender age of 7 he calls his mother ‘Amman’ when he is desperate for the toilet this shows the reader he depends on her for the littlest things, but the fact she doesn’t respond back shows there is no room for conversation and that is why Anil is always seen having dialogue in his head rather than him actually speaking his mind. Anil’s father is said to be a ‘bully’ to Anil and his mother he has no bad feelings on the fact Anil is aware of the violence he causes on his mother; this is the main reason why they have such a broken down family unit.
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