Doesn’t give much away – can link to
the ending and how that doesn’t give
much away either
 Only his name, Indian for
(freespirited, strong and ever-changing) and
Arabic for indigo (a strong, vibrant colour
usually associated with peace) which
sums up Anil’s character.
The main character is Anil.
He is a young boy of 7 years, too young to
know what is going on in the world around him
He is troubled, obedient (because his father
beats him if he’s not)
He is strong in his own way, unlike his father
who’s ‘a timid mouse’ to authority, but ‘a bully’
to his family.
He is honest and shows strong moral
throughout the story.
He is curious, like most children are, but he
knows not to cross the line.
Third person narration, telling Anil’s story.
 The way they’re presented to the
audience by the ‘narrator’, it’s easy to
like Anil, and to dislike the headman, the
headman’s brother, and Anil’s father.
 He doesn’t say a lot but it voices his
opinions when he needs to.
A narrator
 In the style of the 3rd person.
 In the past tense. The story has already
Family Hut
 The Village
 The Tree
 Ends at Train Station
Not made explicit. But over the course a
couple of days, enough time for Anil to
be sent away to school by his father.
 The main action takes place over the
course of 24 hours; Anil witnessing the
murder, the gathering crowd around
Marimuthu’s dead wife, and his father
talking to the headman.
Give general information about the
village and life there.
 During the second to the sixth paragraph
we are given information about Anil’s
mother and father (Amma and Appa)
 We are told of his fathers brutality, his
mothers gentle nature and how Anil is an
only child who loves stargazing and is
afraid of the tree outside of his hut.
The inciting incident takes place after
the tension is risen throughout the scene
of Anil in the middle of the night, and
starts the moment when he hears then
sees the headman of the village and his
brother killing his wife.
The next morning the body of the
woman is found around the tree. Crowds
gathered around the body, and the
woman’s mother laid “cradling” the
woman’s head on her lap whilst the
dead woman’s daughter and husband (
who murdered her) stood mourning her
The climax is when the secret that Anil
had been keeping inside him is revealed
to another character; Anil confronts the
headman- Marimuthu and accuses him
of killing his wife.
Anil gets sent away by the headman and
his own father to protect the truth about
the murder of Marimuthu’s wife, which was
claimed to be a suicide.
 Being only 7 years old, he does not
understand what is happening to him and
why he is being sent away.
 At this point, his father suddenly realises how
much he loves his only son, but it’s too late
because the train has already left the
Mystery- the shadows in the dark and the
mystery surrounding the tree’s being
 Confusion – as Anil is so young and doesn’t
understand the reasons behind the killing
 Relief – After Anil is sent away the brothers
“heaved a sigh of relief” as they got away
with murder
 Anxiety – As to what happens after he’s
sent away? Are the murderers ever found
out? Does Anil return to the village?
The incident of Marimuthu killing his wife
in such circumstances doesn’t seem too
close to reality. However, some of the
issues that the story covers for instance
the ‘behind closed doors’ blackmail
seems like a good representation of how
this would occur, especially in different
Power – The headman’s power over
Anil’s father
 Corruption
 Poverty
 Culture- Indian, Hindu religion
 Child abuse
 The hierarchy system
We identified with Anil because of his
fear of the tree and the dark.
 We all had a ‘bear in the cupboard’ or a
‘monster under the bed’ that would
scare us witless when we were seven.
 Also, as a seven year old we were very
curious, but adults would never respect
this, as is shown in Anil.
There was no real hero in this story, although
you could argue that Anil is a hero in his
own right
 There were several potential villains in this
story. The headman, who persuades Anil’s
father to send him away, Marimuthu, who
kills his own wife and tries to pass it off as
suicide, and potentially Anil’s father,
because he is a really weak character and
sends away his only son.
Line 1-2 ‘the mosquitoes were in their
reign of terror’ makes a rather small
creature seem intimidating and
 Line 19-20 ‘Because his dreams were
bigger than him’ shows that he is a small
boy in a big world.
 ‘Whee’ onomatopoeia - sliding
Anil - Strong morals, stubborn, honest,
dreamer, obedient, scared.
 Appa – Weak, scared, obedient, loyal
(but to the wrong people)
 Headman – Strong, dishonest, cruel,
secretive, overpowering (dictator)
We thought this story was slightly weird,
but this could be because of the
differences in culture.
 We also saw the opposites in this story
e.g. Anil is strong and his father is weak,
Anil is honest and Marimuthu and his
brother are dishonest etc.
We thought the ending was unsatisfying,
because we never found out why they
killed Marimuthu’s wife and we also
never found out what happened to Anil
and his family after he was sent away.