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

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Slumdog Millionaire: The Thirteenth Question – Content

Chapter No. 12

  • Prem Kumar asks the question: „What is the name of Mumtaz Mahal’s father?“
  • The show takes a commercial break: Because of knowing the first question of one billion Rupees by Ram (works as a guide for two years at the Taj Mahal), Prem Kumar changes the question: He does not want Ram to win (p. 304)
  • The show continues and Kumar changes the final question to: „Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 29, Ops. 106: ‚Hammerton Sonata‘ is in which key?“
  • Taking another commercial break Kumar and Ram go to the toilet, where Kumar asks Ram whether he knows the answer.
  • Kumar thinks that Ram does not know the answer and tries to corrupt him with 1000 Rupees.
  • Ram does not come to the show to win money, he comes to the show to get revenge on Prem, because Prem Kumar ruins Neelima and hurts Nita by beating her. (p. 307)
  • Ram takes out a gun and points on Prem, but he „can’t kill a man with a cold heart“, (p. 309, l. 25). He remembers Maman and the experiences in his childhood and lowers the gun (p. 309, l. 22). Ram thinks about the money and his following possibilities.
  • The quizshow continues: Ram takes the Half and Half lifeboat, there are the answers A and C. Ram decides to drop a coin, Heads A, Tails C
  • The coin shows Head, so Ram took answer A, which was correct.

Deutsche Version

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Slumdog Millionaire: A Brother’s Promise – Content

Chapter No. 3

  • New neighbours move into room next to Ram’s (R.) and Salim‘s (S.).
  • The chawl’s administrator (Mr. Ramakrishna) tells R., being an responsible boy, to help the new neighbours (Mr. Shantaram, his wife and daughter) to settle down.
  • Mr Shantaram (Mr. S.) tells R. that there is no need to help because he is a scientist and the family won’t stay in the chawl for a long time.
  • R. knows that he lies: Those who can afford living elsewhere, stay in chawls. The same evening R. overhears a conversation of the family in which Mr. S. tells his daughter he doesn’t want any „street boys” to enter the house. R. & S. hardly see Mr. S. in the next weeks and never see the wife and daughter.
  • One evening: R. & S. overhear commentary of Mr. S. on state of sky that he explains  to his daughter Gudiya.
  • Ram wishes that he also had a father teaching him.
  • A week later Gudiya is allowed to keep a cat she found and calls it Pluto.
  • As time goes by, R. notices that Mr. S. is a drunkard.
  • Mr. S. swears and yells at his family when he comes home. The situation worsens until he starts throwing things at his wife and daughter. One evening he throws a hot cup of tea at his daughter who then has to be hospitalized.
  • Ram often visits Gudiya who sees him as her brother. It is a new relationship for him.
  • The evening Gudiya leaves the hospital, the drunken Mr. S. tries to touch his daughter but falls asleep. The same happens next evening.
  • Ram promises Gudiya that her father won’t try this again.
  • The next day, Ram charges Mr. S. from behind so he falls down to the ground and dies.
  • Ram leaves Mumbai and moves to Delhi.

Deutsche Version

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Slumdog Millionaire: Hold on to your Buttons – Content

Chapter No. 6

  • Ram is working in a bar and he knows how much a customer can drink.
  • He works until morning and lives in a chubby hole without running water in Dharavi. The bar is located in Colaba.
  • The houses in Dharavi are illegal constructions.
  • Ram is talking with a customer in the bar.
  • The customer, called Rao, is a manager of the company Industry Buttons.
  • Rao is drunk and tells a story about his brother.
  • Rao’s brother was the Chief Executive Officer of lndustry Buttons and helped Rao to get a job there.
  • Rao’s wife is a Voodoo Priestess. She wants money all the time and forces Rao into steeling.
  • She makes a Voodoo doll of Rao’s brother to hurt him for getting the firm and Rao gives her all she wants. She takes her family to Mumbai.
  • The brother is in a mental asylum after the Voodoomagic and Rao becomes the new CEO.
  • The secretary of Rao makes him realizing what he has done to his brother and he wants to get him out of the mental asylum.
  • Rao’s brother dies.
  • Finally, Rao dies in a bar, because someone played a Voodoo on him too.

Deutsche Version

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Vikas Swarup: Slumdog Millionaire (Q&A)

Wieder einmal etwas aus dem Englischunterricht. Unterhalb eine Zusammenfassung Vikas Swarups Bestsellers Q&A, der 2009 als Slumdog Millionaire in die Kinos kam. Weiterführende Links zu den Zusammenfassungen einzelner Kapitel befinden sich unter dieser Inhaltsangabe.

Ram Mohammed Thomas ist 18 Jahre alt und repräsentiert den typischen Jungen indischer Herkunft – arm, heimatlos und als Kind ausgesetzt. Das Glück des Lebens macht meist einen großen Bogen um ihn. Dieser Junge hat sich bei der Quizshow „Wer wird Milliardär“ beworben. Das allein ist schon verwunderlich. Noch wundersamer wird es durch die Tatsache, dass seine Bewerbung als Kandidat angenommen wird. Schließlich kann er alle Fragen richtig beantworten und gewinnt somit eine Milliarde Rupien.

Da es sich um die erste Sendung handelt, hat die Filmgesellschaft nicht vor das Geld auszuzahlen, da dies erst geschehen soll, wenn die Sendung ein Erfolg wird und entsprechend viel Geld eingespielt hat. Kurz: Die Filmgesellschaft hat das Geld noch nicht. Aus diesem Grund wird Ram verhaftet und es soll ihm nachgewiesen werden, dass er, ein ungebildeter Waisenjunge, betrogen hat und gar nicht in der Lage sein kann, alle Fragen der Sendung richtig zu beantworten.

Während seiner Untersuchungshaft erscheint eine Anwältin. Aus Interesse möchte sie Rams Verteidigung übernehmen. Ihr erzählt Ram alle Stationen seines Lebens, die dazu geführt haben, dass er die Fragen beantworten konnte.

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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