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

What view of Indian culturein Amrita Pritam's A stench of Kerosine.

Extracts from this document...


English Language coursework Diverse Cultures WHAT VIEW OF INDIAN CULTURE IS PORTRAYED IN AMRITA PRITAM'S 'A STENCH OF KEROSINE', GIVING YOUR OWN PERSONAL RESPONSE 'A Stench Of Kerosene' is the damning and poignant indictment of an archetypal marriage that commonly thrived in Indian villages, and alas, still exist in the civilized world of today. Manak and Guleri, the spouses' joint by marriage resided together in the formers native village, where he was born and cultivated. Though as soon as the marriage commenced, Manak's intrusive mother caused problems in their hapless relationship. The story illustrates how a marriage based on love that should have flourished into an attractive venture turned out to be the complete opposite due to the parents' 'backward' ideals which gradually took effect upon the doomed pair. Pritam's (the author) 'A Stench of Kerosene' palpably unearths the reality of life in the rustic villages of India, and more significantly the callous reality faced by married females, who live a life of tyranny, discontent, and conformity to their male 'equivalents' in addition to their family folklores. One underlying theme of the story is the representation of Indian people's bigotry towards the female gender, causing the reader to truly empathize with the evident quandaries for wedded women who not only tolerate this prejudice in the East, but women experiencing this identical predicament around similar parts of the world. ...read more.


The very detail that Guleri has to "sit back to work out how long it would be before someone came to fetch her" on a daily basis, establishes that she is discarded from the family. Superstitions are alluded to in Pritam's unflattering story to signify the prevalent cultural beliefs in India; "it's said that anyone who goes through it becomes deaf". It seems as if it is these infinitesimal habits and old traditions that people harbour, are what keep the villages in India from becoming more perceptive and urbane. The fact that Guleri and Manak sarcastically, yet subtly mock each other proves that their relationship founded on love, now borders estrangement, a direct cause of the Indian traditions they were born into, that slowly devour the trust they once had for each other; "You must have passed through that bluebell wood. You don't seem to be hearing anything I say. You're right, Guleri, I can't hear anything you're saying to me,". It appears that in the Indian culture, 'producing' children is the prime objective, and given that Guleri had been "married seven years but she had never borne a child", the reader identifies that her mother-in-law judged Guleri to be an inapt wife for 'her son', due to her egocentric and obdurate infatuation in having grandchildren. ...read more.


The perpetual love that Manak held for Guleri is a love that the author utilises to accentuate the significance of communication inside intertwining relationships. If Manak stood up for how he truly felt in the company of his mother, his once deeply loved wife would still be living. Moreover, by not learning from the faux pas he made with his former deceased wife, Manak once again opts to remain unspoken; conversely, the silence he now bears is the result of sorrow for his wife's demise. Towards the end of the story, all of Manak's pent up emotions had finally escaped through a fit of rage; "take him away!...Take him away! He stinks of kerosene!". The baby who he wishes to be taken away serves to be a horrid memento of Guleri's 'needless' death. Pritam's pessimistic perception of Indian culture also lacks enthusiasm. She strives to convey her belief in that India ought to make more of an attempt to dispose of the archaic beliefs that 'women are inferior to men'. Nevertheless, I must also add that in some parts of "A Stench Of Kerosene", it emerges that she dramatises the extent of Indian females being oppressed, and also the authority of the husband's mother. ...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 Geoffrey Chaucer 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 Geoffrey Chaucer essays


    Pritam exploits Guleri's absence from her family as an example to illustrate the wife's segregation from the nuclear family around her, hence disregarding her as if some sort of an incarcerated object. It appears as if the ardour to visit her parents on the extremely infrequent occasions is the only thing that makes her life worth living.

  2. Discuss how at least three authors during the mid to late Nineteenth Century explore ...

    This however leads to conflict with those around her. The main difference between the conflict in this story and in "The Parvenue" is that this type of conflict had come from just complete jealousy. Both the stories "To Please his Wife" and "The Half-Brothers" are quite similar as they are

  1. Outline with reference to the culture of both stories, how the theme of loss ...

    So that is the reason when dying she is dying she does not make an attempt to save her self, she says, "I won't live to see tomorrow and nor do I want to" This shows her unwillingness to live because she thinks there's no reason for her because she has no one that cares for her any more.

  2. How do Thomas Hardy and D.H. Lawrence portray relationships between men and women in ...

    Shadrach states a 'fine girl' isn't a 'sailor's wife'. This refers to how in society a man and a woman have to be of equal class to have a relationship, but if they are to marry a woman tries to 'marry higher' than herself.

  1. Discuss the significance of the traditions, beliefs and Culture in ‘Stench of Kerosene.’ How ...

    Guleri is so upset she decides to commit suicide as she feels her life has no meaning. Guleri soaked her clothes in Kerosene and set light to herself. The reason she chose this method of suicide is that Indians have many beliefs about fire.

  2. This essay will explore two different experiences and cultures. It will cover two ...

    The word 'boy' used to describe the black father shows that whites had no respect for the blacks and liked to make them feel small and the fact that Lois wrote the story about her childhood shows that she still remembers and thinks about her experience.

  1. Comment on what view of the Indian culture is portrayed in 'A Stench of ...

    Guleri, in this story, represents all Indian girls or young ladies. The author chiefly uses this substantial character in order to depict the suffering of girls in such a society and the injustice which is committed against them. The married girl, in this case Guleri, is not permitted to visit

  2. "A profoundly poignant evocation of love and loss" to what extent do you agree ...

    recollection his love his expressed through the immense pride he feels for her bravery. Therefore despite the contrasting nature of both memories, feelings of love and loss are both evident. Dunn's dependence on past memories suggests he is becoming considerably isolated and lonely, further highlighting the poignancy of his situation.

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