Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Woven Words L5. Pappachi’s Moth - Arundhati Roy

Class XI - Arts - Woven Words L5. Pappachi’s Moth - Arundhati Roy



  1. Comment on the relationship shared by Mammachi and Pappachi.

    Pappachi and Mammachi had a gap of 17 years. A retired high ranked officer, Pappachi was always jealous of Mammach's talent and of the attention she received. Whether it was pickle making or her violin classes in Vienna, Pappachi was always jealous of her. Despite of all the friction they had in their relationship, Mammachi bore with him. Mammachi was more used to Pappachi and was not exactly in love with him. Pappachi used to beat him with brass vases and still Mammachi could not let go of him. She wept bitterly on his funeral not because the man she had loved was gone but because he will not be around her any more. He was an old shoe for her and she could not let go of him. She was too attached to him, to having his slouching around the pickle factory, and of course, used to being beaten by him.
  2. How does Mammachi stand out as an independent and resilient woman in the text?
    Mammachi was a woman who was always discouraged by her egoistic Entomologist husband. He never supported her and was jealous of her talent and any sort of attention she received. Probably it was so because of the frustration pent up inside his heart for not receiving the deserved fame of his discovery of the moth he wished to be named after him. However, her pickle recipe was a famous one and she was called by the Kottayam Bible Society to make some of her famous banana jam and tender mango pickle for an upcoming fair. It sold quickly and received more orders than she could cope with. Thrilled with her success, Mammachi decided to persist with the pickles and jam and was kept busy for the whole year. Gradually she set up a pickle factory and made a success of it.
  3. Why does John Ipe consider retirement to be a dishonour? Benaan John Ipe, Pappachi, got retired from the post of Joint Director, Entomology. He was a reputed man. He was proud of being a high-ranking government officer; however, now retired he was finding it difficult to cope with the ignominy of retirement. He was seventeen year older than Mammachi and realised with a shock that he was an old man when his wife was still in her prime. He had always been a jealous man and he resented the attention his wife was suddenly getting. For him his retirement that was a constant reminder of his old age stung him deeply. A man who was once so strong to beat down his wife with brass vases was not put to a stop by his young son. He felt neglected and dejected. A once Imperial Entomologist was now reduced to a withered old man and this gave a jolt to his ego.
  4. What was the underlying reason for John Ipe’s disgust with the world?
    John Ipe was disgusted with the world. He did not get his due. The moth, Pappachi discovered, was not named after him and it fuelled the fire that burnt within him, consuming him. He was ill humoured already, yet the fact that he was a retired government official without any fame, his wife who was seventeen years younger to him, still in her prime, was making good out of her pickle factory. This hurt Pappachi, it wounded his pride. He started beating Mammachi now regularly. Everything, from his never got fame to his wife's success wounded him badly and his frustration proliferated.
TALKING ABOUT THE TEXT
  1. Chacko’s firmness in dealing with the irrational behaviour of his father.
    Pappachi used to beat Mammachi with brass vases every other night until Chako came home for a summer vacation from Oxford. He had grown into a big and strong man. It had been a week to him since he arrived that he found Pappachi beating Mammachi in the study. Chacko strode into the room, caught Pappachi's hand by which he held vase and was beating Mammachi and twisted it around his back. He told loud and clear to Pappachi that he would not want the incident to happen again, ever! The father was flabbergasted. He never dared to touch Mammachi again and yet he never talked to her again till he lived. The firm attitude of the young son stopped the domestic violence that used to take place every day in the house. It was a good action taken by the boy. Men in our society beat their wives without any cause just to prove their physical superiority. The boy made it clear to the father that he is not the only one with muscles in the house putting a stop to the violence.
  2. The contrast between the outward elegance of a person and his private behaviour.
    Benaan John Ipe, Pappachi, got retired from the post of Joint Director, Entomology. He was a reputed man. He was proud of being a high-ranking government officer; however, now retired he was finding it difficult to cope with the ignominy of retirement. He was seventeen year older than Mammachi and realised with a shock that he was an old man when his wife was still in her prime. He had always been a jealous man and he resented the attention his wife was suddenly getting. For him his retirement that was a constant reminder of his old age stung him deeply. A man who was once so strong to beat down his wife with brass vases was not put to a stop by his young son. He felt neglected and dejected. A once Imperial Entomologist was now reduced to a withered old man and this gave a jolt to his ego.

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