Suleri's use of time

George Marinopoulos, English 171, Sages and Satirists, Brown University, Autumn 1997

In Meatless Days, Sara Suleri moves through time and places frequently as she recounts the tale of her family and the violent history of Pakistan's independence. It is important to note that time has an ambiguous role in the book since it is not exactly linear and often is used in relevant terms. Knowing this, we can deduct that the beginning of the last chapter of the book seems to hold a special significance:

Each year, an hour gained. Because I never tampered with the clocks in Pakistan, these last ten years feel bold to me, for they have put me in the realm of daylight saving and made me mistress of time. That evening in October still remains an oddity to me, suggesting a moment of keen transaction, until I am sure that I can grasp what I keep repeating. "You must put back the clock an hour tonight."

By making reference to herself as the "mistress of time" what does Suleri mean? Is she trying to make a point that goes beyond the obvious? Why does the author use "Saving Daylight" as the title to her last chapter? Does the opening paragraph explain this adequately? Is there a general statement about the significance of time in this chapter? If so how does it connect to the use of time in the rest of the book?

Main Screen Pakistan Sara Suleri Meatless Days Leading Questions

Last modified 25 April 2002