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Compare the two female protagonists in Veronica and A Stench of Kerosene

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"Compare the two female protagonists in 'Veronica' and 'A Stench of Kerosene'" The two female protagonists from "Veronica" and "A Stench of Kerosene" have several similarities as well as differences. Their lives are very different, mainly due to where they live, and the amount of wealth they possess. Money, in general plays a key role in the outcome of Veronica and Guleri's lives. While Guleri seems to live in abundant wealth, Veronica is living in acute poverty. However, both women were born into their wealth, i.e. Guleri could not help being born into a rich and well off family, and Veronica, too could not do anything to help her situation. This shows that each writer has created a character that has to, in a way, adapt to the circumstances they find themselves in, and learn to make best of these situations. There are several prominent themes in "A Stench of Kerosene." The most evident is culture. It plays a key role in the story because it acts as a plot device e.g. Guleri going to the annual fair. It also lets the reader see how the characters react to difficult situations e.g. Manak marrying another woman so that she can bear his children as Guleri is barren. ...read more.


She shows what could be defined as an "extreme" case of loyalty to her husband, when she soaks her clothes in kerosene and sets fire to it. Readers may also interpret it in another way. They could call it a case of "extreme foolishness," as her death was a tragic loss of life. Guleri's' behaviour throughout the story is very childish and immature. She argues with her husband and disobeys him, when he tells her not to go to the fair, although this could be described as loyalty to her village and their customs. She then commits suicide when she learns of his second marriage. However, it could also be said that Guleri was very emotional at that time and was driven to kill herself, because she found herself in a position where she was not in control; a position that might be very unfamiliar to her. In "A Stench of Kerosene," it is more of a personal conflict. The cultural background in this story is more defined. This gives it the sense that it is a more distinct culture. Names of places are given e.g. Chamba, Lakarmandi, Khajiar etc. And there is also a glossary of foreign words and their definitions. ...read more.


She does this because she finds out about her husband's second marriage. The reader finds this out indirectly - from another character's dialogue. Her death was sudden and violent - which could, in a way, reflect her character. At times she was sudden and angry e.g. when she gets angry at Manak for asking her not to go to the fair. Veronica experienced a very tough life, and she endured it whilst waiting for her demise. However, Guleri appeared to have a relatively easy life, compared to Veronica, and yet she was the one that decided to commit suicide. This could show a poor decision on her part, as she never had to tolerate the problems that Veronica had to. I believe that Veronica and Guleri have several differences. To some extent they are very similar e.g. they both die, out of their own will, both are given hard situations to cope with. However, their differences lie in how they react to these situations. Guleri's reactions mostly involve violent, spontaneous events, while Veronica usually remains calm and tolerant towards circumstances that are harder to endure. This gives the effect that although Guleri may have been richer than Veronica, her characteristics lacked, and while Veronica may have been brought up in a poor community, she had good characteristics, including perseverance, patience and loyalty. ...read more.

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