While capitalism and globalization initially gave Indians across all social classes hope that more opportunities would be available to them, these opportunities have not proved as transformative to the lives of the poor as they have to the lives of more privileged segments of society. Old inequalities, in other words, have still dominated 21st century Indian life. From what Behind the Beautiful Forevers shows of life in Mumbai, opportunities for social mobility reward a select…(read full theme analysis)
In a slum made of temporary materials, everyone living in Annawadi strives to make themselves important enough not to be erased. In a way, by recording their lives in this book, Katherine Boo helps to make these lives visible and inerasable to those who might ignore them, such as the Indian government and the entire developed world, both of which tend to prefer not to look directly at poverty.
Boo spent three years living in…(read full theme analysis)
While some people outside of India erroneously assume that the Hindu belief in reincarnation means that Indians do not value life as much as other people (since Hindus trust that they will be born into another life after this one), Boo takes pains to counter this belief and show that life is incredibly precious to the residents of the Annawadi slum. This is apparent in the Annawadians’ struggles to live, despite that fact that those…(read full theme analysis)