Compare narrative voice, character differences, and endings in Deepa Mehta's film Earth and Bapsi Sidwa's novel Cracking India.

Quick answer:

When comparing and contrasting Cracking India with Earth, consider the different ways in which the novel and the film portray of the train episode and Lenny’s sexuality.

Expert Answers

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When comparing and contrasting Cracking India with Earth, consider the different ways in which Lenny’s sexuality is presented. In the novel, Lenny is clearly grappling with growing physical desires. She appears eager to model the behavior of Ayah and engages in some mild sexual experimentation with her cousin. In the film, Lenny doesn’t seem so occupied with her developing sexuality—perhaps that’s due to the problems of visually representing adolescent sexuality as opposed to writing about it.

In another sense, someone might argue that the film is more explicit. In Earth, the train episode might strike many people as much more vivid and graphic than in the novel. In the novel, the incident could come across as milquetoast since it’s reported second-hand by Lenny via Ice-candy-man. Yet the film puts the audience directly at the scene. It presents Ice-candy-man boarding the train and discovering its terrible contents.

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