Untouchable Response

Topics: Meaning of life, Fiction, Caste system in India, Caste, Child / Pages: 2 (406 words) / Published: Feb 20th, 2012
Conor Reynolds
Prof. Fehskens
Literature of the Global Experience
The story that Lakha tells his son is considerably short, yet, it carries what I find to be a significant revelation within the book. The monologue that Lakha delivers to Bakha reveals a lot about Lakha himself, and his relationship with his family. Lakha also addresses the importance of the caste system, and his hopes that Bakha can abide to it. Throughout the novel Lakha is presented as a bit of an antagonist. He is constantly ill tempered, he badgers his children about their work, and he even lies to them about his health in order to get out of working. Up until this point in the story, Lakha is quite an unlikable character. However, as Lakha reveals his story to his son, he shows a more tender and sensitive side of himself. The story says a lot about Lakha as a person. It is a very good representation that despite his seemingly indifferent and condescending nature, he truly cares about his children, especially Bakha. When Bakha was a child, and was facing death, his father offered to give the doctor, Hakim ji, his life as a slave in order to get medicine for Bakha. “The meaning of my life is my child.” (Page 81). Lakha shows that he cares greatly for Bakha, and he also cares about his well being in society. He realizes that Bakha does not like the high-caste people at all because of the way he treated him, and Lakha wants to make sure that his son is not vengeful. “[The] old man sensed that the boy was grieved and hurt, and he sensed also that he hated the high-caste people. He sought to assuage his son’s grief, to placate his wrath.” (Page 80). Lakha has a respect for the high-caste people, and he wants to instill those values on his son, so that Bakha can play his role in society without any problems. Despite the way Lakha treats Bakha in the beginning of the book, his story that he tells shows the compassion and love that he has for his son. He genuinely

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