The Inheritance of Loss

The Inheritance of Loss

The Inheritance of Loss Chapter 46 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Sai looks out her window and sees the judge calling for Mutt. His voice becomes increasingly anxious. The afternoon turns into evening, but Mutt doesn’t appear. The judge asks everyone he can find if they have seen her: the milkman, the baker, the plumber, the electrician. He knocks on Lola and Noni’s door, and Mrs. Thondup’s.
The judge’s loss of Mutt completes his slide into powerlessness, as he loses what is perhaps the one thing he loves. He even becomes desperate enough to break his isolation from his neighbors, asking if they have seen his dog.
Themes
Power and Humiliation Theme Icon
Mrs. Thondup asks if Mutt was expensive. The judge had never thought of her in this way, but he remembers that she had been expensive. Mrs. Thondup says she must have been stolen. Uncle Potty and the Afghan princesses support this theory, as they have all had animals stolen from them. Lola comments on how Indians have no love for animals—that they find animals very easy to beat and kill.
Lola reinforces an idea that has been seen several times throughout the novel, particularly in America: it is easy to be cruel to animals because they are already extremely vulnerable, serving as a stand-in for the most powerless members of society.
Themes
Power and Humiliation Theme Icon
The judge worries that he had brought Mutt to a place where she could never survive, though he tried to give her the best possible care. He recalls how he had taken her for a vaccine two years ago that most people could not afford. Stray dogs had been slaughtered by the truckful and whole families had died, but the judge spent three thousand rupees for Mutt.
The judge’s tender treatment of Mutt, which has been catalogued as the seasons progressed in the novel, once again speaks to his privilege. While other animals and even people had died, Mutt was given extremely expensive preventative care.
Themes
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
The judge once again goes to the home of the SDO who had come to their house after the robbery. The SDO says that people are being killed—chasing after a dog is a luxury that society cannot afford. The judge continues on to the police station. They laugh at him, but he persists and asks who they picked up after the gun robbery. The police deny finding any such person.
Unlike in the judge’s earlier care for Mutt, this time he sees how distanced he is from the world around him. The police humiliate him and refuse to investigate her disappearance because they believe the judge is foolish enough to think that this crime is equal to the murders, robberies, and arsons that are taking place.
Themes
Poverty vs. Privilege Theme Icon
Power and Humiliation Theme Icon
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The judge almost weeps, thinking of how men are unequal to animals. Humans are corrupt, while animals live with delicacy on earth and don’t do anyone harm. He remembers why he had gone to the ICS, but now his position of power has dissipated. He shouts all of his nicknames for Mutt to the Himalayas until an army soldier comes around to enforce curfew.
The judge’s loss of Mutt causes him to remember why he had wanted to become a judge: to protect those who are powerless and to bring criminals to justice. Now more than ever, he sees how he has become powerless in the face of a world in revolt against the political system in which he had taken part.
Themes
Colonialism and Globalization Theme Icon
Power and Humiliation Theme Icon