After Meena secretly borrows her mother’s diamond necklace and then loses it, the necklace becomes a symbol of Meena’s potential severance from her parents, fueled by her lies and her relationship with Anita. Meena loses the necklace while following Anita into the Big House, an episode that serves as a turning point in Meena’s life. By following Anita, Meena proves her loyalty to the older girl, suggesting that Meena is now willing to sacrifice her own safety and well-being to remain by Anita’s side. This introduces a central danger in the story: the possibility for Anita’s authority to become more powerful than Meena’s parents’ discipline and advice. Meena’s inability to tell her mother what has happened underlines her guilt, but also suggests that she would rather retain her independence than face her mother’s anger. At the end of the novel, though, the owner of the Big House gives mama her necklace back, and papa tells mama to accept it without asking any questions. This happy ending proves that, despite Meena’s temporary descent into rebellion and disobedience, by the end of the novel everything is back to normal, and she has returned under her parents’ wings. Meena’s parents’ willingness to forget about some of their daughter’s potential misdeeds reveals that Meena should now focus on her future: a life of honesty and openness, far from the negative influence of people such as Anita.
Mama’s Necklace Quotes in Anita and Me
I knew I was a freak of some kind, too mouthy, clumsy and scabby to be a real Indian girl, too Indian to be a real Tollington wench, but living in the grey area between all categories felt increasingly like home.