Rukmani describes her garden in vivid detail in the story. Why might she do this? What does this tell readers about how she feels about her garden, and about her character in general?
In the story, Rukmani reminisces about her young married days. She describes her garden in vivid detail and recalls how proud her husband was of her industry. In describing her garden in detail, Rukmani illustrates her diligent and persevering nature.
When Rukmani married, she was a young girl of twelve. Then, fearful of what marriage would hold for her, Rukmani remembers how lonely she had felt. She had married an impoverished farmer and had been disappointed when she first saw her married home. It was merely a mud hut and small for its size. However, her husband, Nathan, had been full of love for her. Rukmani remembers how grateful she was to have married a man who thought her beautiful despite her plain looks.
Under Nathan's loving care, Rukmani blossomed into a woman who enjoyed her nights of passion with her husband and who was thankful for the life she led. She describes her garden in great detail to illustrate how, under Nathan's encouragement, she was able to step beyond her comfort zone. Essentially, her garden became a symbol of her personal growth and of her contributions to their welfare. Her industry and tenacity were further exhibited through her ability to grow pumpkins, brinjals (eggplants), chilies, beans, and sweet potatoes for their own use. As she remembers, her garden was a point of pride for her, and it was partly made possible through Nathan's lavish praise and encouragement.