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Girls Burn Brighter


An extraordinary and heart-rending tale of two girls with all the odds against...
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Discuss Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao:
Do you think Poornima and Savitha are "swallowed whole" by their experiences? Why or why not?

Created: 02/27/19

Replies: 12

Posted Feb. 27, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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Do you think Poornima and Savitha are "swallowed whole" by their experiences? Why or why not?

Savitha tells Poornima a story about a crow and an elephant, which Poornima thinks about often as she is searching for her friend. Savitha says, "Here's what matters. Understand this, Poornima: that it's better to be swallowed whole than in pieces. Only then can you win. No elephant can be too big. Only then no elephant can do you harm." What do you think she means? Do you think Poornima and Savitha are swallowed whole by their experiences? Why or why not?


Posted Mar. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

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RE: Do you think Poornima and Savitha are "swallowed whole" by their experiences? Why or why not?

If they'd been "swallowed whole" by their experiences, they would not have still had the spark to try to escape and find each other. They would have just given in to the horrible circumstances in which they found themselves.


Posted Mar. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

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RE: Do you think Poornima and Savitha are "swallowed whole" by their experiences? Why or why not?

No, I do not believe that they were "swallowed whole". There was always a little bit of their spirit left which gave them the strength to keep on fighting and searching for a better life and more importantly loving each other.


Posted Mar. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

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RE: Do you think Poornima and Savitha are "swallowed whole" by their experiences? Why or why not?

No, they haven’t been swallowed whole. Neither one of them ever gave up and it would have been easy for either one of them to do so. Poormina never gave up her search for Savitha and Savitha never stopped looking for escape. I admire the determination of both of them


Posted Mar. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulagb

Join Date: 08/16/17

Posts: 56

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RE: Do you think Poornima and Savitha are "swallowed whole" by their experiences? Why or why not?

I think perhaps they were swallowed whole using Savitha’s definition. To be swallowed in pieces tore youup and left you destroyed. To be swallowed whole allowed you to go forward still as a whole person. Despite their experiences at the end there is hope, the promise of America available to them.


Posted Mar. 08, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

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RE: Do you think Poornima and Savitha are "swallowed whole" by their experiences? Why or why not?

I agree with paulab. In Savitha's story the crow made the choice to be swallowed whole by the elephant therefore the crow was able to defeat the elephant and move on with its life.


Posted Mar. 08, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tired Bookreader

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 109

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RE: Do you think Poornima and Savitha are "swallowed whole" by their experiences? Why or why not?

I agree that they were not swallowed whole. But they were certainly being slowly picked apart by society, men, and all their life challenges. They could have been swallowed at any moment, but they persevered for whatever fate threw at them...it was exhausting.


Posted Mar. 11, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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alwaysdaddygirl

Join Date: 09/04/16

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RE: Do you think Poornima and Savitha are

They were not swallowed whole because they manage to overcome. There were countless times where they could have been. Savitha having to lose her hand and the cruelty reasons why could have destroyed her. No matter how much ugliness she endured, she refused to be swallowed through. Poornima also could have given up because of all the darkness she also had to endure.

"Tough times don't last, tough people do."
Robert Schuller


Posted Mar. 11, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 105

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RE: Do you think Poornima and Savitha are "swallowed whole" by their experiences? Why or why not?

Both Savitha and Poornima were crows that were swallowed whole. And there wasn't just ONE big swallow, they were swallowed whole day after day. Each morning they woke up determined to defeat the "elephant". Poornima stayed focused by doing what she needed to do to get to Savitha. She was very organized and patient about it. Methodical even. I don't know that Savitha necessarily believed that she would find her sister of the heart again, but as long as she held onto the piece of the sari, she had hope and strength to not give in and allow herself to be consumed in "pieces".

I don't believe that the two of them could have accomplished what they did if they had not stayed "whole". Each dealt with so many horrific moments; moments that could have (and possibly should have) stripped them of who they were piece by piece. They both refused to lose themselves in their experiences.


Posted Mar. 12, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scgirl

Join Date: 06/05/18

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RE: Do you think Poornima and Savitha are "swallowed whole" by their experiences? Why or why not?

I don't think they have been "swallowed whole". I also believe they have been "picked apart" repeatedly and eventually will be worn down if their tragedies continue, until there are just scraps of them which will be eaten or blown away.


Posted Mar. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
aileen414

Join Date: 02/23/19

Posts: 3

RE: Do you think Poornima and Savitha are "swallowed whole" by their experiences? Why or why not?

I am conflicted about this question. Both Poornima and Savitha maintained their individual spirit and determination to fight each day. However, both were changed and broken (physically, mentally, and emotionally) by the degradation and brutality they had to endure. While they did succeed in finding each other, its hard to argue that either woman is completely whole.


Posted Mar. 15, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 105

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RE: Do you think Poornima and Savitha are "swallowed whole" by their experiences? Why or why not?

I might have to change my previous answer a little. Rereading the ending, Savitha revisits the story of the crow and the elephant as she is being raped in the woods at the gas station. I don't think it was the final act of violence that finally broke her, but the loss of the remaining piece of sari. Losing that took her courage and hope away. It seemed she was on the verge of giving up. For the first time during all she has endured, Savitha is really, truly feeling the pain of everything that has happened to her. "She began to sob, and the sobs became a wail, and the wail became a low and gentle hum." These lines haunt me. That is why Poornima HAS to be the one opening the door and finding her. She just HAS to be.

I think the elephant ate Savitha whole. She was like a phoenix, reborn even stronger after each setback. She refused to be defined by her disfigurement and used it as a strength.


Posted Mar. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alwaysdaddygirl's Gravatar
alwaysdaddygirl

Join Date: 09/04/16

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RE: Do you think Poornima and Savitha are

I think Savitha was almost swallowed whole with her being rape again but this time in America. When Savitha was in the bathroom, the toilet sounds brought her some comfort like it did before. I wonder is that part of the reason she stayed in the bathroom. Savitha managed after the rape in America to get up and keep going.
That reminded me of another person experience that was similar that I read about( I cannot recall the name of that book)I feel the ending was rush. If the ending was not rushed, certain things would have been better able to see.


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