Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard

by Kiran Desai

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What is a character analysis of Ammaji in Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard?

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Ammaji is portrayed as a kindly and supportive grandmother who is tied into tradition but willing to support younger generations. She cares for Kulfi while the latter is pregnant and takes over some of Kulfi's duties which she sees Kulfi failing to perform them. We see her support Sampath in his role as a spiritual leader, defending him against criticism and eventually opening a tea stall beside his tree and telling stories to pilgrims in his place at times.

We also see Ammaji portrayed as a comic figure at times, unable to keep up with younger generations (for example, when her dentures stick in a cone of ice cream, or when she is unable to keep up with Pinky despite wearing tennis shoes).

Ammaji's character adds depth to Desai's complex depiction of family relationships and the way multiple generations of a family relate to tradition in a context of colonialism and modernization.

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