English A – essay
This Isn’t Verona!
Miserable love comes and goes – that counts for all. But in some cultures, love is more than just feelings between two humans. The invincible bonds that love creates are being tested by family traditions, honour and divisions in the short story “This Isn’t Verona!” written in 1980 by Joan Salvesen, because in some cases, love isn’t the only factor to keep in mind when choosing a partner. Arranged marriages, murder of honour and expelled family members are the fearful standards in cultures such as the one the Indian girl Nalini Das Guptas is brought up in. But is love in a relationship really that important? Are you also in need of love if you have healthy children, healthy economy and a lovely home?
The story takes place in Hampstead in London, England, where the 1st perspective storyteller and Nalini lives only half a mile from each other. The narrator lives in a “mock, Gothic, shabby Vicarage” with her widowed father. She describes herself as a large, buxom, blue-eyed Anglo-Saxon blonde. Despite the less flattering description, a boy winks at her, so she’s probably undervaluing herself. The neighborhood is rather quiet with lots of old age pensioners surrounding, and her older brother Mark studies at Cambridge. The narrator and Nalini are approximately about 15 or 16 as they are taking their “O” levels during the story. They evolve a friendship throughout the story, and the narrator expresses her admiration of Nalini in the text. “I stood staring at Nalini; I felt half admiring, half envious… her skin was flawless, her silky black lashes framed eyes like a fawn’s, and her lips were full and sensuous, a contrast to her delicate features”. Besides the grandiose description, we’re told that Nalini is a painstaking student, and she is particularly competent in languages because of her multicultural approach – opposite her parents. She lives in Fortune Green with her Indian father, mother...