5.5. Food for foreshadowing
'Stirring Jam "and its 'bubbles' foreshadow the consequences of the leaking of once hidden family secrets. Lemon juice and tangerine make symbolic references to the hidden trauma Estha experiences after the nasty incident with the " orange lemon drink man'. ' The jam stirring becomes a boat-rowing" (196) foreshadows his attempt to cross the river and the tragedies that follows, especially the death of Sophie Mol. The very "jam stirring" also befalls as a proof of allegations against Velutha and eventually his brutal murder at the hands of police. Ammu too rows across the river which some how contribute to the torture and suffering of many characters.
5.6. Food and nostalgia
Many fruits, vegetables and food items especially south Indian dishes are used repeatedly which give depth and connotative meaning to incidents, situations, actions, emotions, feelings and hidden motives. And above all, food reflects cultural identity of the characters. Food imagery also characterizes the characters mood, inner desires, self identity etc. Estha 'raws the Jam' while preparing to be prepared". When Ammu and children went to correct the false report filed by her aunt at the police office, the inspector Thomas Mathew, " tapped her breast with his baton gently Tap Tap...as though he as choosing mangoes from a basket" (p.8). Vender in the vegetable market transferred vegetables carefully to Esthas shopping bag and "always a spring of coriander and a fistful of green chilies for free" (p 11) is a cultural testimony of service normally given to the regular customers in many Indian bazaars. Estha passing "the ration shop that sold rice, sugar and bananas" (13) and cheap porn magazines is another typical sight in any street corners and lanes one come across in Kerala countryside. Ration shops were supposed to be the meeting places of the daily wage earners where they buy subsidies at government rates and also the place where they discuss politics, gossip and exchange news. As mentioned in the novel such Ration shops are still a common sight in Koattayam Alleppy districts of Kerala. The sorrow of chacko and Mamachi is compared to a typical sight found in Kerala as " slumped in their bereavement, like a pair of drunks in a toddy bar" (15) .As habit or to forget their little problems common man getting drunk at the toddy shops where lightly fermented toddy is sold is a cultural fact exits in some rural areas of Kerala especially in Kottayam Alleppy district where Ayemenem is set. Offering coconuts or banana to temple elephants is still a social custom and part of...
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