Dusk over Atlantic Wharf

This study guide will help you analyze the short story “Dusk Over Atlantic Wharf” (2006) by Susmita Bhattacharya. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective.  

Extract

Here, you can read an extract from our study guide: 

Metaphors and simile

When Lata begins to cry, “black rivers streamed down her cheeks” (l. 145). This metaphor highlights her state of depression and helplessness caused by her situation.

Another metaphor is “The narrow terraced houses huddled together and looked at her with lacy eyes” (ll. 19-20). The lacy eyes refer to the curtains which the houses have, and which Lata finds strange. The fact that she imagines the houses staring at her suggests that she feels judged for being an outsider and is self-conscious about being different. 

When Lata sees the crowds in the leisure center, she is “soaking in their happiness” (l. 87). The metaphor suggests that she is glad to see something to which she can relate, and which gives her some joy. It is also an expression of her wanting to fit in, despite feeling out of place. 

When Lata compares herself to the young girls dressed in leather skirts and tank tops, she feels “like an old woman” (l. 68). This simile illustrates how awkward and out of place Lata feels when she is exposed to the new, unfamiliar culture. This experience forces her to reassess even the things she previously enjoyed, such as her blue silk sari which she wore at her engagement party (ll. 67-69).

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Dusk over Atlantic Wharf

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