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Moth Smoke by Mohsin Hamid

            Many of the characters from the novel Moth Smoke by Mohsin Hamid seem to be heading on an incendiary path to destruction. Murad is selling drugs while owning a rickshaw business and Daru is bankrupt without a job. Daru and Mumtaz are having an affair while her husband, Ozi, is wrapped up into the life of money and power. Their love triangle is a metaphor for the current violence between Pakistan and India over the mountainous region of Kashmir. All four of these characters are choosing paths that will lead them to destruction over time. From the moment Daru and Mumtaz set eyes upon each other, a dangerous spark between them was present. Daru's best friend, Ozi, is Mumtaz's husband. It was easy to talk to one another, but as time continued, the talking became more flirtatious. Things became slightly more personal and then finally they had sex. When we get home we kiss, again on the lips, soft and tender an brief, like a kiss between friends, except I always kiss my friends on the cheek (143. Hamid). This demonstrates the dangerous choice they both make. Ozi is rich and powerful unlike Daru who lost his job and whose life is falling apart. This means Ozi can control what happens in Daru's life and can get away with it. Then, he ignites like a ball of hair, curling into an oily puff of fumes with a hiss. The candle flame flickers and dims for a moment, then burns as bright as before. Moth smoke lingers. (151. Hamid). This is a metaphor of Daru and Mumtazs affair. Daru is represented by the moth and Mumtaz is represented by the candle; Daru is flying to his death by having an affair with Mumtaz. He'll end up as nothing but moth smoke. Mumtaz, on the other hand, has not much to lose because this affair. She and Ozi have grown their separate ways, and the connection they once had no longer exists. The only reason she hadn't left him is because of their child whom she doesn't even love. The only destruction she is heading for would be the change of class and a disintegrated marriage.

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