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

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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.

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