The Shadow Lines

by

Amitav Ghosh

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Queen Victoria Character Analysis

Queen Victoria is Ila's mother and the wife of Jatin, an economist. She acquired her nickname because she often sits proudly like Queen Victoria. She keeps a number of servants and has a habit of creating silly languages to speak to them to make them feel inferior and confused, and the narrator notes that she had a "special affinity" for any being, human or animal, who responded to one of her special languages. This is the reason why she allows a huge monitor lizard to live in her garden: it flicks its tail when she speaks to it, which she interprets as a response to her language.
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Queen Victoria Character Timeline in The Shadow Lines

The timeline below shows where the character Queen Victoria appears in The Shadow Lines. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. Going Away
Memory, Storytelling, and Reality Theme Icon
Social Standing and Pride Theme Icon
The narrator recalls a time when he was ten and Ila; her mother, Queen Victoria ; and Tridib came to visit. In the flashback, Queen Victoria tells the narrator about... (full context)
Social Standing and Pride Theme Icon
The cook, gripped with fear, refused, so Queen Victoria summoned Lizzie, Ila's new nurse. In the strange, almost-unintelligible dialect that Victoria developed to speak... (full context)
Youth vs. Maturity Theme Icon
Memory, Storytelling, and Reality Theme Icon
Borders, Violence, and Political Unrest Theme Icon
When Queen Victoria is finished telling her story, she waits for the narrator's response. The narrator doesn't want... (full context)
Youth vs. Maturity Theme Icon
Social Standing and Pride Theme Icon
...and her family are living with Mrs. Price when they visit Calcutta for a holiday. Queen Victoria invites the narrator's mother to bring her family to visit the old family house in... (full context)
Youth vs. Maturity Theme Icon
Memory, Storytelling, and Reality Theme Icon
...it, and when Mayadebi noticed how sad he looked, she explained to him that Ila, Queen Victoria , Tridib, and Lizzie are in another car. Finally, the other car pulls up. The... (full context)
Youth vs. Maturity Theme Icon
Freedom and Identity Theme Icon
Social Standing and Pride Theme Icon
...the narrator had been asking about Ila for days and now won't even approach her. Queen Victoria thought this was sweet, and Ila turned away. The narrator realized that Ila didn't miss... (full context)
Youth vs. Maturity Theme Icon
Memory, Storytelling, and Reality Theme Icon
Social Standing and Pride Theme Icon
...with murky shapes. Ila wouldn't let him return to the adults, even when they heard Queen Victoria and Lizzie yelling for them. (full context)