Behind the Beautiful Forevers

by Katherine Boo
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theme in beyond the beautiful forevers

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This book has several important thematic topics. Overcoming great odds is one strand and also the contrast of rich, shiny and new environments against squalid, poor and backward ones. Slum life is explored and also the role that crime plays in that environment. The story is set in a slum town near Mumbai Airport and this is a contrast to the luxurious hotels around the facility. Many of the people who live there have menial jobs for example rubbish recyclers, building workers and piece-work migrants, and they all hope that the boom of India's business future will rub off on them. A crime shocks the slum-dwellers and then global recession starts to slow the world economy down -in addition many people live in fear of terrorist attacks. Religion, resentment, mafia-like intimidation and the caste system all threaten fresh conflicts - with ruthless consequences. But there is a theme of hope as well.  Some slum dwellers are resilient and persevere against the odds, winning through against discrimination, corrupt practices and unfairness. The book shows that there are things of hope and value even in a slum.

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