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Explore the ways in which the lives of individuals are affected by the expectations and traditions of the society in which they live in (Comparison of this in the novels Stench of Kerosene, Country Lovers and the Schoolteachers guest).

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Introduction

Explore the ways in which the lives of individuals are affected by the expectations and traditions of the society in which they live in. The 3 stories we have read which are Stench of kerosene, Country Lovers and the Schoolteacher' s Guest, are set in a variety of different cultures and each story reveals a lot about the traditions and expectations of the people who live there. For instance when reading the different stories some ideas and traditions seem bizarre however for them would be completely normal. A Stench of Kerosene is set in the mid-twentieth century in a Hindu district of India. The story is about an arranged marriage in India. The main them in this short story is conflict between a man's love and the obligation to have children. It's all about Guleri's "arranged" marriage. It's based on love and duty. Amrita Pritam, the writer, is an Indian, Hindu woman thus she would know what the expectations of woman would be in her country, to produce a male child. The role of a woman plays a major part in this story. Guleri is deprived from her family. "Once every year, after the harvest had been gathered in, Guleri was allowed to spend a few days with her parents." ...read more.

Middle

While interracial couples face problems all over the world, the particular circumstances of apartheid create serious problems for Paulus and Thebedi as well. In this story, the writer reveals many things in order to show the difference in lives between the blacks and the Whites during apartheid. From a young age the children know not to mix with black people, they know what's right and wrong from in their culture. "The farm children play together when they are small; but once the white children go away to school they soon don't play together anymore, even in the holidays." She says the white children go away instead of black suggesting that white children are more important and that they should be the ones trying to get away from the black kids. The fact that Paulus and Thebedi had to hide the fact that they were in love shows that, they knew it was wrong and that if someone did find out they would be in trouble. "The farm children play together when they are small; but once the white children go away to school they soon don't play together anymore, even in the holidays." ...read more.

Conclusion

T hey are rejecting him once again. It is clear that they are away from civilization. This village in Chile is a crazy one. "... tearing the perpetrator limb from limb." This quote suggests that their behaviour is very uncivilised and inhuman. There is a lot of conflict throughout this story. Violence I part of their nature. They aren't civilised. They could go to court to get back at that man that killed that widow's boy. But they don't, instead they take matters into their own hands and decide to kill him together as a community. "I'm in the right, he killed my boy." This shows how convinced she is there is no law in their village or culture. They are very close together and no one thinks that what they are doing is wrong. "Well, then we can fix him up a little and say he committed suicide." This shows us that they are prepared to lie and stick together to cover up what they did. These 3 stories give us different view on cultures in diverse countries. They give us a clear image on how these inhabitants react and deal with sometimes-difficult situations. If you compare each decisions or rules they have you can clearly see the difference. It may not always make people happy but that is the way they deal with things in their culture/society. ...read more.

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