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To what extent are Guleri and Veronica victims of their cultures?

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Introduction

To what extent are Guleri and Veronica victims of their cultures? 'Veronica' is a short story about how cultural differences in the narrator's home affect the lives of the people. The story is told through the eyes of Okeke, he tells us how his life is different to Veronica's in this village and how they grow up. In the beginning, Okeke explains how Veronica's family life was unfortunate: 'Her family had been even poorer than mine, which was saying something in those days. Her father was a brute and her mother was weak.' The quote explains how Veronica was poor and her family were unmanageable. However, their culture has forced Veronica into looking after the family all the time because she is a girl: 'since she was the eldest child a lot of the responsibility for bringing up the other children had fallen on her.' However, 'A stench of kerosene' is another story which Guleri marries Manak and moves into Manak's home, however Manak's mother forces him to stick with traditional values and have a baby with her or she will offer him a new wife. ...read more.

Middle

Because of her strong belief in fate, she is susceptible to everything in life and thus making her a victim of her own society. However, in 'A stench of kerosene,' Manak is reminded by his mother about their deal, 'Manak's mother had made a secret resolve that she would not let it go beyond the eighth year.' His mother has said that if eight years pass and Guleri has not given birth to a child, then his mother will find him a new wife. Because of this, Guleri is forced out of this family in the end, but she does not know that once she leaves, she will never return, 'Guleri don't go away, he begged her.' Manak knows that once she leaves to go on her annual festival in her home village, she will never return because she has not given birth yet. Manak does not tell her this because in this culture, respecting the mother's decision is given priority over anything else and so this is how Manak has been brought up. Because of this matriarchal society, the son will never respond angrily to his mother as she is seen as the controller of the home. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is strong evidence of Guleri being a victim of Manak's culture, she has died and wasted her life because Manak's mother wanted their traditions to be followed. After this Manak becomes dead inside: 'Manak, mute with pain, could only stare and fell his own life burning out.' Manak had suffered from her death, he knew it was wrong and he could have stopped it, but because of the cultural pressures he faces, he obeyed his mother instead. In conclusion, Veronica is a victim of her culture because from the beginning, she has been vulnerable and has had an unfortunate life. Since her childhood she was beaten and forced to work and look after the family. This may have led her to believe that fate is doing this to her and so she must go along with it. Even though all of her family moved away, she remained. This has, in time, made her a victim of the harsh culture and traditional pressure. Similarly, Guleri killed herself because her life was always quiet and peaceful, and she always went along with whatever she was told, but once Manak and his mother had decided she was going to break tradition, they indirectly killed her. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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