Slumdog Millionaire: The Burden of a Priest – Content

Chapter No. 2

  • Ram was born – eighteen years ago – on Christmas Day in the Church of St. Mary
  • He was an orphan child, which was left behind by his mother in the clothes bin of St. Mary’s orphanage, but he didn’t know the reason
  • He was put up for adoption, but no one came for him. Ram had no name („I was just called Baby – the baby that no one wanted“, p. 46 ll. 20-21)
  • Finally, he was adopted by Mrs. Philomena Thomas (who has worked as a cleaner) and her husband Dominic Thomas (who has worked as a gardener). Mrs. Thomas ditched her old husband and the newly adopted baby and ran with the tailor Mastan Sheik to Bhopal. Mr. Thomas was very angry and brought the baby in his cradle to Father Timothy and left it there („Father, this baby is the root cause of all the trouble in my life. You forced me to adopt him, so now you decide what to do with him.“, p. 47 ll. 14-15). Father Timothy took care of the baby for six years and gave Ram the name Joseph Michael Thomas. Two men from the All Faith Committee came to look for the orphan child: They discussed about the baby’s name, because of nobody having known to what religion the parents belonged. The two men and Father Timothy agreed on the new name: Ram Mohammed Thomas.
  • Ram was raised by Father Timothy, which taught him about the life of Jesus, Adam and Eve and about other religions, that is the reason for him being a particularly religious boy
  • Due to the fact, that the relationship between Ram and Father Timothy was never precisely defined, Ram wasn’t sure how important it was for Father Timothy („It was never made clear to me whether I was servant or son, parasite or pet.“, p. 52 l. 23).
  • One Sunday Father Timothy wasn’t alone at the altar, there was another younger priest, called Father John Little.
  • Father Timothy has invited Father John Little for dinner: Ram spilled the soup on Father John Little. The reaction of the priest was very furious („Bloody Hell!“, p. 54 l. 10; „You’re that idiot orphan boy who spilled soup on me the other day! You’d better behave yourself in Father Timothy’s absence. I’ll be watching you very carefully.“, p. 54 ll. 17-20). [Ram is traumatized from now on.]
  • Three days later he went shopping with Joseph: A motorcycle rider came, slaps Ram on the head
  • Father John had strange designs on his body, kept strange magazines under his bed and often had visitors he did not know
  • Ram saw that father John giving drugs to the strangers.
  • Ram was very glad that Father Tymothy returned from a journey.
  • Ian, an English backpacker passing through Delhi arrives
  • Ram saw  trough a keyhole how father John did something bad to Ian. He informed Father Tymothy who said that Ram had to go to bed. The next day Ram found father Tymothy and father John dead
  • He cried together with Ian for three hours because of Father Tymothy’s death. He told Ian that he had lost his father and that he is now a real orphan
  • Ian told Ram that father Tymothy was his father too and that he is now also a real orphan.

Deutsche Version

TIPP für Schüler: Zur Vorbereitung auf das Abitur oder für Klausuren kann ich diese Lektüre empfehlen; sie enthält professionelle Inhaltsangaben in Form einer Lehrerübersicht. Leicht verständliche Zusammenfassungen und Analysen enthält außerdem diese Lektüre. Vikas Swarups Buch Slumdog Millionaire ist ein Schwerpunktthema im Fach Englisch.

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