• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comment on what view of Indian culture is portrayed in 'A Stench of Kerosene' giving your own personal response.

Extracts from this document...


Comment on what view of Indian culture is portrayed in 'A Stench of Kerosene' giving your own personal response. ' A Stench of Kerosene' , authored by the pen of Amrita Pritam, is a tale of suffering and injustice in the rural areas of India. The author tries to relate the life of a young Indian wife to the reader in such a way that it leaves them feeling pity and remorse for her. Within it there are elements of superstition, superiority, sexism and ancient traditions. Evidently the portrayal of Indian culture is not one that may be easily accepted by most western societies as it reveals the actuality of Hindu culture in its extreme. It illustrates how harsh it can be, especially towards the gentler sex. The story opens with Guleri heeding to the call of a horse; ' The mare was from her parents' village. She put her neck against its neck as if it were the door to her parents' house.' In this line the mare metaphorically represents her parents and her love for them, therefore as soon as she hears it coming she ' ran out of the house'. This also illustrates how deeply she misses her mother and father and how she is anxious to be close to anything that may link her to them, even if it is just a horse. ...read more.


Said his mother severely. Be a man.' ' Manak wanted to retort ' you are a woman; why don't you cry like one for a change! But he remained silent.' This shows the extent of the supremacy of elders as even though Manak may have an extreme rush of emotions he still holds back when it comes to his mother. Love, the greatest emotion of all, itself did not stand a chance when it came to a mothers decision. The way that Manaks mother could not understand the relationship that Manak and Guleri had and how she destroyed not only love but also life in the pursuit of a grandchild gives you an idea about the single-mindedness of Indian people. The upbringing of Manaks mother in an Indian society led to her becoming what she is at present and that is one of the features that Amrita Pritam is trying to get across about Indian culture - The power of matriarchy within the home. This is further emphasized by the father only being referred to in the phrase ' parents-in-law'. Apart from that he remains a ghost; invisible in a household where the wife and mothers authority is supreme. Another negative aspect displayed by the author to indicate the archaic nature of Indian culture is their belief in superstition. ' Do you know the Bluebell woods a couple of miles from here? ...read more.


This treatment is frowned upon in the modern world and is mentioned intelligently by Amrita Pritam to promote the movement of Indian right for women. The mere fact that the only purpose women have in an Indian marriage is to produce babies is enough to cause an uproar and is a sad indictment on Hindu culture and customs. The other fact of marriages in India is that women are bought from their parents which is a clear statement of them being a ' commodity': 'Manaks mother had paid 500 rupees to get him a second wife'. All these aspects bring out the most prominent point of this story: to expose the mistreatment of women in India. 'A Stench of Kerosene' contains multifarious techniques that allow the author to engage many different points of view and effects. She writes about her cultural heritage and its role in everyday life: the supremacy of elders over ruling everything else, the discrimination of women to such an extent that they are burnt alive, and superstition that is dominant over all forms of logic and thinking. My personal belief is that even though these people have traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation, they are all outdated and in some instances barbaric. Indians have a very deep rooted history and therefore may find it hard to adapt to the modern world, but as Amrita Pritam quite clearly illustrates; it is time to proceed with life and forget the past, particularly with regard to the oppressive treatment towards women. GCSE English Coursework Noor Elahi 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Comparing poems section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Comparing poems essays

  1. Clash of cultures coursework

    the beginning of the days in India, however will turn violent and unstable, much like how the relationship as a whole seems to be heading in towards the end of the story. The reason that Cathy cannot go out and get a job is due to the fact that she

  2. Poetry Coursework

    Rhetorical questions imply he is talking to himself, he is contemplating everything that has happened, and he is confused and is trying to work things out. He also uses a lot of pronouns, "My face turned pale as deadly pale" and "as that I stood before".

  1. Compare the presentation of significant moments of personal identity in ‘Unknown Girl’ and ‘The ...

    A significant moment of the poets identity in 'The Road Not Taken' is when he says, 'because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there had worn them really about the same.'

  2. Votes for women Q1&2

    In many ways source b dose support source c as in source B she quotes 'votes for women is a shrill cry of many discounted ladies' which could suggests she's comparing the suffragists who are 'discounted ladies' and suffragettes who are seen as not.

  1. Culture; what is it and where does it come from?

    One thing I can relate to is the last stanza, quoting "Every time I think I've forgotten, I think I've lost my mother tongue, it blossoms out of my mouth", every time I start to speak English Urdu just comes out my mouth.

  2. In the three stories from other cultures (Country Lovers, Veronica and A Stench of ...

    Okeke returned to the village as a prosperous doctor with many paths he could choose to take his life down. He came back to discover that Veronica was still living the same life but with a child and husband. Her brothers and sisters that she worked so hard to keep

  1. Examine the way in which Culture affects the relationships of the main characters in ...

    This tells us that the environment that they are in is natural, bright and sunny. We can also tell that there is something going on between them and that they are having stronger emotions.

  2. What View of African Culture is portrayed in Veronica(TM) giving a personal view(TM)?

    This state can be expanded to the whole country's state to uncover the author's biased direction. Where Veronica symbolises the broken and mistreated people, her father may symbolise the government and their disregard for the people's needs, and her mother may symbolise the 'weak' onlookers that can do nothing because they have not the means themselves.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work