Study Guide

Beneath a Marble Sky Chapter 3

By John Shors

Chapter 3

Childhood Lost

  • Jahanara blames her close call with death on her brother. She feels like it thrust her into an early adulthood. Okay.
  • So, Jahanara's on a mission to be the best adult who ever adulted. She studies everything, participates in Agra's court more often, and practices her social graces with Nizam.
  • Under her mother's tutelage, this means that Jahanara also works hard at manipulating men—for information, to gain influence, and to get her own way. Interesting.
  • Unfortunately, while Jahanara's manipulating nobles into supporting her parents' desires to build infrastructure and support the arts, Aurangzeb's running around undoing all her maneuvers by stirring up war-lust against the Persians.
  • Even more troubling is the fact that Dara, who is the presumptive heir to the Peacock Throne, really couldn't care less about statecraft. He just wants to read philosophy and promote the arts. Uhhh…that's gonna be a problem.
  • Jahanara tries to warn Dara that Aurangzeb might be laying the groundwork for seizing the throne, but Dara thinks she's being ridiculous.
  • Jahanara advises Dara to spend more time cultivating his own connections in court. If he won't fight for the throne himself, he will need a whole lot of allies to do it for him.