The mother

Here we will focus on the main traits of the narrator's mother from “The Word Love” by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Her outer characterization is conveyed through the narrator’s memories. We find out that she is an Indian woman who lives in Calcutta, within 100 miles of the village where she was born, and who became a widow shortly after her marriage. The facts that she has a servant and that there are references to a will, suggest that she probably belongs to the higher class in India. Her physical portrait presents her as follows: “…her face, the stern angles of it softening into a rare smile, the silver at her temples catching the afternoon sun in the backyard under the pomegranate tree…” (p. 2, ll. 3-5)

Inner characterization

The mother’s inner characterization is constructed through the narrator’s memories, her actions, and her attitude.

From the beginning of the story, we find out that she is a very traditional Indian woman. She chose never to remarry after her husband’s death although she was young, and she does not try anything modern or Western: “She’s never travelled more than a hundred miles from the village where she was born; she’s never touched cigarettes or alcohol; even though...

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