Thesis: The master and servant relationship in India’s Caste system creates an environment that unintentionally encourages homosexuality.
Quote/analysis 1: “So close that I could smell his aftershave—it was a delicious, fruitlike smell that day” (pg.7)This quote is a clear indication of Balram’s, more than friendly response to Mr. Ashok. His use of the words “that day” show that it wasn’t the first time he intentionally took a whiff of Ashok’s aftershave. Perfume has been used in many different cultures as a way to seduce and grab the attention of someone of interest. When Balram inhaled Mr. Ashok’s aftershave, he, in a sense, took bits of Mr. Ashok inside of him. “ The cologne from his skin—a lovely cologne—rushed into my nostrils for a heady instant while the smell of my servant’s sweat rubbed off onto his face”(pg. 65-66). Once more, Mr. Ashok’s smell crawls into Balram, however this time it is a combination of skin, sweat, and cologne. The mixture is something that neither men can ignore nor bother to forget. It was in this instance that the inconvenient attraction between both men began.
Quote/analysis 2: “Now that she was gone, I knew that it was my duty to be like a wife to him.” page 157. In this quote Balram is speaking of his transition to a “wife” figure to Mr. Ashok. He disregards his masculinity and instead becomes a transsexual Indian man. While the Caste system requires Balram to treat his master as a father and give them his utmost loyalty, he took it to the point where he saw it as a duty. Also, Balram seemed happy that Pinky Madam had left Ashok. Even though it meant that he had to deal with a broken hearted master, he knew that there was a way that he could win Mr. Ashok’s heart. There were some foreshadowing that Pinky Madam was going to leave Mr. Ashok due to their constant arguing. Mr. Ashok was constantly defending Balram and treating him as his equal, rather than someone below him. Without him knowing it, he unintentionally drove away his wife and coincidentally became closer to Balram.
Quote/analysis 3: “ …then the petting and kissing began … I was so furious that I drove right through for red lights ..” (pg. 177). This quote emphasizes the notion that there is more to the master - servant relationship Balram and Mr. Ashok share. When Ashok brought a woman home, Balram perceived it as a threat to the budding bond between them. During their stay in New Delhi, Balram has repeatedly stated the clothing the women wore. He described the...