Q&A – A Must Read Essay

1262 words - 6 pages

When I was a kid, I enjoyed reading fantasy and mystery novels. The mystical, imaginary worlds and discovering unsolved mysteries triggered my imagination. However, as I grew older I began to develop of love for all genres, from young adult fiction to romance. Currently, my favourite novel is Q & A by Vikas Swarup, which touches on romance a long with contemporary reality. The book revolves around the life and experiences of the main character Ram Mohammed Thomas; an uneducated young waiter living in the slums of India. Ram has become the biggest quiz show winner ever only to be sent to jail on accusations that he cheated. What the audience does not know is that every moment of his life is a clue to one of the answers. Through retellings of his life stories we are able to discover not only how he answered these questions on the game show but also, we uncover the truth about Ram’s brutal and emotional life from a child to a young adult.
The format of this novel is one of reasons why I love this book the way I do. In the prologue, we are told of Ram’s arrest and how a lawyer comes to his rescue, one willing to fight for his innocence. Every chapter is presented as one question, from question one to thirteen. Each chapter begins with a retelling of Ram’s personal stories and experiences, which lead him to his answer in the game show. The author then fast-forwards to the present, Ram is showing his lawyer the recording of the quiz show and we watch Ram’s response to the answers. The most intriguing part of this structure is the exclusion of chronological order; Ram is an adult in the first chapter however he is a child in the second. The mystery that remains of Ram’s life and putting the pieces together brings excitement to this book.
I thoroughly enjoyed the character development of Ram, the main character. From such a young age he has seen experienced cruelty and suffering, orphaned at a young he had never felt love. Through these experiences Ram grows in wisdom and discovers what true love is and its challenges. Tragedies such as forbidden love and the death of his best friend allow him to mature and develop a sense of reality. Furthermore, Swarup decided to use first person to narrate this book. Having the main character narrate his life gives emphasis on his words, as if they are bolded and have greater importance. Ram has a complex character which I adore, yet the other characters such as his best friend Salim, his mentally handicapped friend Shankar and his true love Nita are flat characters but still add the same effect to the story. Even though these characters are of lesser importance they still evoke emotion and complete the book; they become the characters you fall in love with. Ram and I are as different as black and white, however I can feel a connection to his character and what he strives for in his life. Having read this book I now become more aware of learning through everyday events as an alternative to only learning through...

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