The Shadow Lines

by Amitav Ghosh

Start Free Trial

When and why does the narrator visit London in The Shadow Lines?

Quick answer:

The narrator visits London seventeen years after he first met May Price in Calcutta. He goes there on a year's research grant to collect material for his PhD project.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh revolves around the connection between the Datta Chaudhuri family in India and the Price family in England. The narrator, Tridib, is the protagonist of the story and falls in love with May, the Price family's daughter. May reciprocates that love.

The first time the two meet is in Calcutta, Tridib's hometown, to which May is paying a visit. It's not for another seventeen years before they meet again, this time in London.

Tridib goes to London on a year's research grant to collect material from the India Office library for his PhD project. He's writing a thesis on the textile trade between India and England in the nineteenth century.

Although Tridib has arrived in London, May Price's home city, it isn't until a month after his arrival that he finally gets the chance to see her again. Tridib has to go out of his way to find May.

Apparently, she's been playing in an orchestra and lives on her own in a bedsit in the North London borough of Islington. May's mother gives Tridib her daughter's phone number, but whenever he calls, May's never in. It's only when Tridib goes to see her play in the orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall that he's finally able to catch up with her again.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial