Sohini’s Structured Emotions

“Sohini was a bit frightened at first and grew pale, but she kept intensely still and avoiding the shock, subsided into a listless apathy. As she looked away, however, and cast her eyes to the blue heavens overhead, she felt a sort of dreariness, a pain, which, though she accepted it resignedly, brought a hurtfulness with it. Sad and wistful, she heaved a soft sigh and felt something in her heart asking for mercy. The sun overhead shot down bright arrows of heat, and inspired a feeling of the passing of time, a feeling that made her forget the unsolicited quarrel with Gulabo, but cast over her the miserable, soul-harrowing shadow of the vision of her brother waiting for her at home, thirst after the morning’s toil, dying for a cup of tea. And yet no caste Hindu seemed to be near.”

Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. New York: Penguin Group, 2014. 26. Print.

Like Faulkner rarely talking about the river as a river, Anand stretches the painful experience of frustration and guilt. It is interesting how that “apathy” is simply expressed in word while the true suffering is analyzed further. Sohini stays still and waits as the sun and the sky are moving, telling her that time is moving and nothing is getting done. Instead of impatience, a feeling that comes across as selfish, guilt takes its place and defines Sohini for what she is and what she will accept.