The main theme of the story “Carapace” by Romesh Gunesekera is love versus money. This theme is supported by the motifs of arranged marriage and family, and the symbolism of the title. An additional side theme is defensiveness.
Love versus money
As you have seen, the protagonist of the short story is faced with a difficult decision. She needs to choose between love and financial comfort, between Vijay and Anura. While she is clearly in love with Vijay, she is also influenced by her mother Amma, for whom marrying well is more important than marrying for love.
Consider that the protagonist is also young and lives in a country which does not offer her many possibilities to earn money and have a good standard of living.
The theme of defensiveness is illustrated by both Vijay and the young woman. People who feel threatened by something which seems emotional or psychological overwhelmingly, often resort to defensive attitudes in order to protect themselves. Most of the times, they do this unconsciously.
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