The power of castes

Hi all,

For today’s presentation I wanted to focus on castes in the book. Throughout the whole book most of the characters suffer from their caste and the way the have to live because of it.  Chapra’s main goal is to escape his slave condition and become a general, or a king. I was a bit surprised how the lesson I got out of the book that is “all lives matter equally wether human or animal/ ‘Life is sacred wether or not it is human'” was so different than the way humans treated each other. Page 37 even the monk is surprised if not disgusted that a Pariah can have superpowers and can become godlike. Pariahs are considered “subhuman”, I wanted to know what you thought of the castes and of this contradiction within the book.

1 thought on “The power of castes

  1. Christina Hendricks

    I think we had some good discussion about this question on Friday, and it makes sense to me to say that Naradatta’s disbelief that Tatta could be someone important just because he’s a pariah could speak more to Naradatta’s flaws than a problem with the principles he seems to be trying to espouse. It might also be, as I think was mentioned in class, that the book is pointing out how the Brahmin were not necessarily living up to their ideals (as the beginning of the book says). Naradatta is a pretty flawed character overall, I think. He is continually behind in “getting it,” only seeing what’s going on and how he should act when it’s too late (e.g., when Tatta sacrifices himself to the snake, when Asita gets angry at him). I’m pretty sure Naradatta continues on in the story for the whole series, and I wonder to what degree he redeems himself. One summary I read says that he is forgiven in the end, so I guess he does to some extent!


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