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Literary Criticism of "The Grass Eaters" and "Women Like Me"

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In Krishna Varma’s story “The Grass Eaters”, story takes place in the past in Calcutta, India. Basically, The Grass Eaters set at the time of religion dispute between Hindu and Muslim also when independence in India was big issue. Whereas, in “A Women Like Me” by Xi Xi, is slightly different because story held in Hong Kong during the end of 20th century where people had fear of unknown mysteries of life. However, both story occur in different time and place but their thinking and way to see the world makes difference in each story that catches the reader’s till the end.

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To commence with, in story “The Grass Eaters” basically reflects that Ajit babu and his wife who has seen almost all kind of struggle in their life from living in a pipe and by eating grass as a staple food. Moreover their hunting for a proper house and food never end throughout their life, but in worst situation he never lose his belief of their life Ajit always stayed positive even though his wife rejected his offer to stayed in an abandoned freight wagon. “For the first time in weeks Swapna smiled, a very vague smile. Then, slowly, she drew the edge of her sari over her head, cast her eyes down, turned her face from me, and said in a tremulous, barely audible whisper that she (short pause) did (long pause) not want (very long pause) her (at jet speed) baby-to-be-born-in-a-running-train”. From this speculation we can identifies that also in worst situation Ajit can find bunch of happiness which can give his life some kick to face the world and stay positive in any kind of situation. Furthermore, Krishna Varma has also focused Swapna’s character as a biggest supporter in Ajit’s babu life because in any hardship he remains with him weather they to stay in pipe or in empty wagon. She also sacrificed her dreams and adjust with what they have; in fact, just imagine if Ajit wife was a negative thinker and demanding wife and Forcing Ajit to buy jewelry, clothes and proper food Ajit would have not fulfill her demands then she might left Ajit in arduous situation and there will be no one in Ajit hard time to support. It is so important that you need perfect partner to survive in Catch 22 situation and to face challenges to move forward with each other support. Nevertheless his so Prodeep might not come again as he engaged in Naxalite activities, but sill he is living with a hope that after his death “we have a son to do our funeral rites when we die”. This statement makes picture clearer that he was happy with what he have.

On the contrary, “A Women Like Me” is completely different story Xi Xi herself writes, “I feel that the blame for my having fallen into this trap, from which there is no escape, rests solely with Fate, which has played a cruel trick on me. I am totally powerless to resist Fate”. Xi Xi is insisting that and I personally feel that Xi Xi is not satisfied with her life. She is afraid of her destiny before coming to any conclusion of what future might be or what will happen in her future life? Due to this type of question she directly decides herself that Xia will reject him after knowing her job. Besides, this from her personality I can imagine that she has no clue where her life is going and she is completely a negative thinker, just because what other think about our profession and doubting on her own will led to see only on negative side on her job. No doubt her profession was gifted by her mother but, her aunt Yifen gifted her skills to be a professional makeup artist; However, Xi Xi says “I had become another Aunt Yifen; the two of us were, in fact, one person-I had become a continuation of Aunt Yifen”. According to this statement I think that she was comparing her life with her aunt Yifen and this also shows that all the fears and worries derive Tragic story of aunt Yifen is might happens in her life also. Overthinking, fear of destiny and afraid to be a single these kind of thoughts demolishing her from inside; while, she never thought on the flip side of coin maybe she would be living successful life with her boyfriend and still she will be doing her same job as before. Well narrator leaves reader in middle of the ocean where they were curious to know about her future.

To a greater extent, if we compare life of Ajit babu and Xi Xi then I believe both character some correspondence. No doubt, writer has shown both a character as a hardworking in life but they have not taste the success till the end of story. In addition both are looking for a chance of fate and hoping that one day their life might change. Also, both had and supporter like “Ramaniklal Misrilal” and “aunt Yifen” both has showed their support when they were facing hard times in life. Beyond, this both character are waiting for perfect time to change their fate on their side one day.

To conclude, both narrator has described their character in their own way as the belong to different culture; but, as per my inclination Ajit babu character was more strong that Xi Xi because in life Ajit babu has proved himself and survive in situation were his fate asked and question and every time he perfectly replied; while, Xi Xi failed. So ultimately both help us to realize that our life is totally depend on how we approach towards our life.

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