Anjana Appachana

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Themes and Colors
Tradition, Modernity, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Labor and Creativity Theme Icon
Loyalty and Disillusion Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Sharmaji, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Tradition, Modernity, and Gender Roles

“Sharmaji” presents the tension between tradition and modernity as a powerful force in contemporary Indian society. This tension is especially evident in the case of gender roles, as modernization rapidly but incompletely transforms traditional norms. While men and women work side by side in the world of the story, women are still largely treated as property, as Sharma and Gupta’s conversation regarding dowries displays. The modern woman, in contrast, is exemplified by Miss Das

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Labor and Creativity

“Sharmaji” is structured around Sharma’s efforts to avoid his work as much as possible and his increasingly elaborate efforts to escape the consequences of his negligence. He goes to such great lengths to hide this negligence that it might have been easier for him to simply do his job. This centers the theme not only of labor, but also creativity, as Sharma crafts exceptionally imaginative excuses to avoid the dull and repetitive but not…

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Loyalty and Disillusion

The characters in “Sharmaji” are heavily influenced by either loyalty to or disillusionment with their company. Providing another prism through which readers can understand Sharma’s resentment, the story shows that a sense of unrewarded loyalty can lead to deep disillusionment. At the same time, though,  expecting rewards for such loyalty can also be selfish and unreasonable. Having worked at the company for 25 years, Sharma feels that he has been unfairly maligned and passed…

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