Fasting, Feasting

Aruna Character Analysis

Aruna is the pretty, confident, and socially ambitious younger sister of Uma and second daughter of Mama and Papa. As a child, school comes easily to Aruna, though she takes no interest in it. While she is kind and helpful to Uma during their childhoods, she becomes snappy and superior when they approach adolescence, laughing at Uma's rejection by prospective husbands. Aruna, on the other hand, is so sexual and graceful that marriage proposals pour in for her. She marries Arvind, a wealthy, handsome man from Bombay. She moves to the city and lives the life of a perfectionist, wealthy westernized socialite—visiting her family only on occasion. While her treatment to Uma is unkind, her struggle to free herself from her roots and her family's limitations reflects in her tendency to criticize them and her ultimate decision to live a life apart from them.

Aruna Quotes in Fasting, Feasting

The Fasting, Feasting quotes below are all either spoken by Aruna or refer to Aruna. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Gender and Social Roles Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Houghton Mifflin edition of Fasting, Feasting published in 2000.
Chapter 8 Quotes

Uma’s ears were already filled to saturation with Mama’s laments, and Aruna’s little yelps of laughter were additional barbs (…) The tightly knit fabric of family that had seemed so stifling and confining now revealed holes and gaps that were frightening—perhaps the fabric would not hold, perhaps it would not protect after all. There was cousin Anamika’s example, the one no one wanted to see: but how could one not?

Related Characters: Uma, Aruna, Mama, Anamika
Page Number: 86
Explanation and Analysis:

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Aruna Character Timeline in Fasting, Feasting

The timeline below shows where the character Aruna appears in Fasting, Feasting. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Family Life and Individual Freedom Theme Icon
Plenty/"Feasting" vs. Want/"Fasting" Theme Icon
Tradition/India vs. Modernity/West Theme Icon
Loneliness and Togetherness Theme Icon
...poles, watching Mira-Masi at the temple. One evening, MamaPapa reluctantly allow Mira-Masi to take Uma, Aruna, and Arun with her down to the river for her religious bathing. While MamaPapa have... (full context)
Chapter 7
Gender and Social Roles Theme Icon
Family Life and Individual Freedom Theme Icon
Tradition/India vs. Modernity/West Theme Icon
...after weeks, Mrs. Joshi comes to tell Mama that the Syal’s son would rather marry Aruna. Mama flares in anger at Mrs. Joshi and at the Syal family for the offensive... (full context)
Chapter 8
Gender and Social Roles Theme Icon
Family Life and Individual Freedom Theme Icon
Loneliness and Togetherness Theme Icon
...only she guards the house from danger. Back in time, marriage proposals flood in for Aruna, but Uma’s unmarried state keeps MamaPapa from pursuing them. Aware of her own appeal, Aruna... (full context)
Gender and Social Roles Theme Icon
Family Life and Individual Freedom Theme Icon
Tradition/India vs. Modernity/West Theme Icon
Loneliness and Togetherness Theme Icon
...and family in Meerut, and needed the dowry to save his business. Upon returning home, Aruna asks Uma if her husband touched her, and Uma says no, but privately wonders about... (full context)
Chapter 9
Family Life and Individual Freedom Theme Icon
Plenty/"Feasting" vs. Want/"Fasting" Theme Icon
Loneliness and Togetherness Theme Icon
...alone time to call a friend, but realizes she has nobody to call—Anamika is unreachable, Aruna is too busy with her own life, and Ramu is nowhere to be found. She... (full context)
Gender and Social Roles Theme Icon
Plenty/"Feasting" vs. Want/"Fasting" Theme Icon
Tradition/India vs. Modernity/West Theme Icon
Back in time, Aruna chooses from among her suitors Arvind, the handsomest, richest young man from an urban background.... (full context)
Family Life and Individual Freedom Theme Icon
Plenty/"Feasting" vs. Want/"Fasting" Theme Icon
Tradition/India vs. Modernity/West Theme Icon
After the wedding, Aruna moves with her husband Arvind to a fancy flat in Bombay, visiting her family only... (full context)
Gender and Social Roles Theme Icon
Plenty/"Feasting" vs. Want/"Fasting" Theme Icon
Loneliness and Togetherness Theme Icon
On one visit home, Aruna brings her in-laws to bathe in the holy river near the house. Uma visits the... (full context)