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By Chitra Fernando Theme of exploitation Chitra Fernando’s short story, “Missilin” presents the story of a woman who is continuously exploited by a series of characters.

1. First of all, the astrologer claims that if she stays in the village, she will face a lot of problems,

“‘Apoi! Her head is like the Fort railway station. She may even go mad! Or else a serious illness will result from a chest affliction.’ He advised the wearing of a gold talisman, the recital of benedictory stanzas, and a change of locality.” It is apparent that the astrologer is more interested in money rather than giving humane advice by making such negative predictions about Missilin’s future.

2. One of the most
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Ranasinghe and Leela. • Her loyalty and respect towards Mrs. Ranasinghe is apparent from her dislike to come and work for Leela.

• Then she never really abandons Leela. She visits her several times, gives her money and even helps her with the household work.

4. She fiercely dislikes men,

• probably because of what happened to her sister, and on a number of occasions criticizes even Gomis, the only man who admires her with romantic feelings. • In fact she never really worries about the prediction made by the astrologer that she would never get married, "She didn't care a jot. She wanted nothing to do with men.”

5. However, she temporarily changes her dislike of men and develops feelings towards Gomis. But this ends in tragedy as Gomis turns away from her which leaves her devastated and determined never to fall in love again.

• In several instances, the writer shows Missilin’s thriftiness,

“She hated waste.”

• She eats rice carefully and if she drops even a few grains, she would make her “Kalu” eat them.

• She also haggles with Arnolis, the fish man and attempts to save money. This attitude may be the result of her poverty and the suffering she underwent in the village.

In this manner, she is a contrast to Mrs. Ranasinghe who seems very extravagant.

6. Missilin is fatalistic in her belief in the

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