• Subject Name : Social science

Introduction to Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers

The main purpose of this assignment is to conduct an analysis of the book “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” written by Katherine Boo. In the first part of the assignment, the discussion would be about the theme of the concerned book along with the objective of the author behind writing this book. In the due course of discussing the purpose, the problem pointed out by the author in the book will also be given consideration. Moreover, the book analysis will also pay attention to the summary of the entire book and towards the explanation of each of the titles. Furthermore, it is going to determine the level of consistency, preciseness and the writing style adopted by the concerned author. Also, it is going to be determined if the concerned book has a bibliography or not and if it is in accordance with the content of the book or not. Finally, it would be determined if the contents of the book was persuasive enough for the reader or not with proper explanation for the same.

“Behind the Beautiful Forevers” by Kathrine Boo is known to be a documentary that has been written in the form of a narration (Scott, et al., 2015). The book involved discussion about certain melodramatic as well as distressing stories about different families who are struggling a lot to improve their standard of living in the divergent city belonging to the 21st century. The theme of the book revolved around a puzzling era of international transformations and unevenness is created by human beings.

The main purpose of the author behind writing this book is to talk about the different struggles which an individual is required to execute while coming out of their impoverishment. Moreover, the author also discusses the prospects that a deprived person can enjoy in a popularized country like India. The author’s purpose of writing was to portray the ways an individual can adopt to improve the standard of their living (Parker et al., 2015). The author even wanted to determine the gaps due to which a particular society is not able to fall down. Furthermore, Kathrine was also inclined towards analyzing issues in relation to impoverishment, prospects, exploitation, discrimination, education as well as dispairity. Also, she points out issues in relation to prejudice and ambition.

In the shantytown of Annawadi, Mumbai it has been determined that the impoverished section of the society did not harmonize as compared to the benefited section of the society. However, they were in competition with each other in terms of the lack of their resources (Anand et al., 2017). Also, it has been portrayed in the book that the individuals living in the was regarded as an insect by the rich people of the society. Hence, the purpose of the book is to demonstrate to the readers who in the concerned slum is going to rise and who is not going to rise.

 The first part of the book clearly discusses the life of the under citizens of Annawadi Mumbai. In the story, the character of Asha has been portrayed as an opportunity seeker and a woman filled with aims who is willing to enhance her standard of living and want to do better in her life. However, in order to achieve the same, Asha was required to manipulate those living in the shantytown of Annawadi (Storper et al., 2016). Kathrine depicted in her story about a time when Asha holded great power in the slum, she herself would create issues and resolve it herself to convince the people about her power. Hence, through the technique she manipulated the people living in the shantytown of Annawadi. Thus, the author portrayed corruption as an opportunity for Asha to improve her standard of living, her life was transformed from a farmer to a mentor and further to a political figure.

Furthermore, exploitation was also seen as a prospect for Sunil to improve his living as he transformed from being a scrounger to a robber. Overall, exploitation was present all throughout the shantytown of Annawadi. It was clearly demonstrated by the author that exploitation existed within the social employees of the World Vision who engaged in stealing taps to the policemen and doctors who employed corruption to extract money from the deprived section of the society (Mahabir et al., 2016). Moreover, it was also revealed by the author that those living in the shantytown used exploitation to develop in their life, for instance the Hussains found their business in the garbages and used it to rise in their life. Also, it was seen that Manju would go to college with a hope to someday move out of the shantytown.

It has been clearly determined by the author of the story that the concept of partiality is still prevalent in the culture of India. It is present in the culture of the country to make an individual know his position in the society. In the story, it has been depicted that the Hussains being a muslim was put out of numerous great employment opportunities. Also, there were many anti-nativist movements that captured many victims of impoverishment. At an instance, when Abdul had gone to the place of imprisonment when one of his legs got burnt, it was shown that the muslims were disproportionate that was to some extent similar to the disproportion of the Africa-based Americans in the judicial panel of the United States. In a similar manner even sexism was demonstrated as a product of biases in the country of India (Wilson et al., 2015). For example, in the concerned story, Meena was not given the permission to learn English as it would minimize her adherence level, while Kehkashan was portrayed to break her marriage because her husband was involved with some other woman.

Finally, it was seen that Zeherunisa followed the purdah system after her whole family was captivated. This was the only reason due to which the exploitations done by Asha was appreciated as well incommendabe for those living in the shantytown. The author portrayed a high level of disparity in the killing of the robbers and scroungers, the self-killing of the females in Annawadi and the death of the boys who was fanatic towards Eraz-X but still there was a ray of hope prevalent in the shantytown of Annawadi. Everyone living in the shantytown lived with a hope of encountering a miracle that will transform their life, which is determined to happen in the developed country of India. For instance, it was depicted in the book that Fatima, victimized and when she hospitalitized she came to realize the significance of her own life (Ezeh et al., 2017). Also, Abdul was shown to have a ray of hope, when he went to the custody and he was inspired by his mentor. In this way, the author clearly depicts even the most deprived section of the society in India has a powerful belief in reframing the corrupted regulating body of India.

The book by Kathrine Boo has been divided into four parts, wherein in the first part that was about the under citizens wherein, the life at Annawadi was elucidated in a comprehensive manner and the readers were introduced to the important characters of the book. The second part of the book described life at the shantytown during the rainy season, Zehrunisa’s compassion towards Fatima and the way in which the dwellers of time damaged the feeling of self-confidence in Fatima among other issues. The third part of the book consisted of a little of violence, wherein Asha’s main objective was to move with her family to her countryside native land from the shantytown (Scarbrough et al., 2018). Also, it discussed the ways in which the daughters are known to be a burden in the Indian society and the way in which Anil played an important role in enhancing the different agricultural mechanisms among many others. In the fourth part the way in which Asha gained a lot of power in the slum was vividly described and the way in which Fatima’s atonement has generated a changeable consequences and its influence on the society on the basis of which different happenings in the society was talked upon by the women of the shantytown of Annawadi.

Through the analysis of the concerned book it can be said that Kathrine is a powerful author and the way in which she formulates her story is very appreciable. In the very beginning she develops a platform and confronts us with all the key players in her book, that is both the dwellers of the shanty town as well as the environment in which the story was created. The key characters included Asha, Sunil and Manju, while the setting included the shantytown of Annawadi (Mote et al., 2016). The main story begins at page 89 of the book, where one of the key character’s Fatima was irritated with the rumpus. The author clearly demonstrated in the book that Fatima burnt herself after an argument with Hussain and wrongly accused him for burning her. The author very precisely demonstrated her decisions in the story on cases like false accusation of Hussain and Meena escaping the suicidal act. She very clearly depicted the way in which Asha had risen in the society by employing corrupting deeds and the way in which Sunil left robbery and engaged in a more dignified act of hunting.

All over the story, the author made use realistic as well as appealing communication with the use of beautifully generated sentences like “ sewage and sickness look like life in Annawadi”. Furthermore, the manner in which the author elucidates the incident of the rats biting Sunil along with his sibling was very much terrifying as well as painstraiking (Jones et al., 2015). For instance, when the rats had bitten them while sleeping, boils developed on their head and even that the boils exploded with worms, seemed to be very much terrifying and it was portrayed very well by the author. Such a catastrophic elucidation was compared with incidents that were more full of hope, like Abdul believed in doing better than what he was doing at the present situation. The speech used by the author sounds more like poetry at the time when she elucidated the rain. The author relates the rains to romance for the upper class people of the society. Additionally, the author even made sufficient use of the analogies and emotions like “black as the keyholes” and “purple as a bruise”.

The book written by Kathleen Boo has a bibliography and it is very much adequate as per the context mentioned in the book. The bibliography, consists of materials on riots and politics, the conflict between hindu and muslim in the modern India. It is appropriate because the story is even based on different social and politically related issues (Mohapatra et al., 2015).

The book written by Kathleen Boo was very convincing in nature and it was one of the most refined books in the history of documentary stories. The most persuading part of the story was her objectives to achieve equality in the society. Also, the hardcore research conducted by the author, the atmosphere she selected and the characters she selected were very much effective and played an important role in terms of convincing the readers. Moreover, her level of engagement towards issues like impoverishment, exploitation, faith, biases as well as her sincerity towards the use of rhyming language and feasible language was very much convincing too (Galiani et al., 2017). The way in which the author reported her step towards the justice of the society was excellent. She very well portrayed in her book that the life of the impoverished section of the society is even a matter of concern and also hope exists in their life. Hope exists even in the sultrytown of India where a third of the poor population of India lives. Furthermore, the author has very rightly portrayed that it is very much problematic for the poor section of the society to do something worthy in a bad environment.

Conclusion on Book Analysis- Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Thus it can be concluded from the book analysis essay that impoverishment can be removed from the society if the society-oriented strategies as well as the politically-oriented strategies can enhance only when people living in the society gain an improved level of understanding about their normal life. The same type of understanding has been rightly portrayed among the people living in the shantytown of Annawadi, with characters like Asha and Sunil who used corruption as an opportunity to improve their standard of living.

Bibliography for Book Analysis- Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Scott, Allen J., and Michael Storper. "The nature of cities: The scope and limits of urban theory." International journal of urban and regional research 39, no. 1 (2015): 1-15. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1468-2427.12134

Parker, Simon. Urban theory and the urban experience: Encountering the city. Routledge, 2015. Retrieved from https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=ZXMGCAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&ots=Lg_Up-MNUF&sig=ObYb7w6TFKV5oPeE3cunhT7ZSxE&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

Anand, Nikhil. Hydraulic city: Water and the infrastructures of citizenship in Mumbai. Duke University Press, 2017. Retrieved from https://library.oapen.org/handle/20.500.12657/31718

Storper, Michael, and Allen J. Scott. "Current debates in urban theory: A critical assessment." Urban studies (2016). Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0042098016634002

Mahabir, Ron, Andrew Crooks, Arie Croitoru, and Peggy Agouris. "The study of slums as social and physical constructs: Challenges and emerging research opportunities." Regional Studies, Regional Science 3, no. 1 (2016): 399-419. Retrieved from https://rsa.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21681376.2016.1229130#.XwhZlUBuJPY

Wilson, Janet. "Discoursing on Slums: Representing the Cosmopolitan Subaltern." In Reworking Postcolonialism, pp. 229-243. Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2015. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/9781137435934_15

Ezeh, Alex, Oyinlola Oyebode, David Satterthwaite, Yen-Fu Chen, Robert Ndugwa, Jo Sartori, Blessing Mberu et al. "The history, geography, and sociology of slums and the health problems of people who live in slums." The lancet 389, no. 10068 (2017): 547-558. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0140673616316506

Galiani, Sebastian, Paul J. Gertler, Raimundo Undurraga, Ryan Cooper, Sebastián Martínez, and Adam Ross. "Shelter from the storm: Upgrading housing infrastructure in Latin American slums." Journal of urban economics 98 (2017): 187-213. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0094119016300572

Mohapatra, Harapriya. "Status of women in Indian society." Journal of Research in Humanities and Social science 3, no. 6 (2015): 33-36. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/9b9e/c7dc9064b85609ed5f8741c1690cdb6a1a18.pdf

Jones, Gareth A., and Romola Sanyal. "Spectacle and suffering: The Mumbai slum as a worlded space." Geoforum 65 (2015): 431-439. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0016718515000445

Scarbrough, Elizabeth. "Visiting the ruins of Detroit: exploitation or cultural tourism?." Journal of Applied Philosophy 35, no. 3 (2018): 549-566. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/japp.12237

Mote, Balu Natha, Suhas Balasaheb Kadam, Shrikant Kishorrao Kalaskar, Bharat Shivajirao Thakare, Ambadas Suresh Adhav, and Thirumugam Muthuvel. "Occupational and environmental health hazards (physical and mental) among rag-pickers in Mumbai slums: A cross-sectional study." Sci J Pub Health 4 (2016): 1-10. 

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