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

Compare how the writers of 'A Stench of Kerosene' and 'Veronica' have used cultural backgrounds to help shape their writing and what the two stories have in common.

Extracts from this document...


Compare how the writers of 'A Stench of Kerosene' and 'Veronica' have used cultural backgrounds to help shape their writing and what the two stories have in common. 'A Stench of Kerosene' is a story about a young woman, Guleri (whose family live in Chamba), living with her husband, Okeke, and his family. Guleri has never borne Okeke a child, and because of this Okeke's mother makes him re-marry. The remarriage of Okeke occurs when Guleri goes away to visit her family, for the harvest fair. When Guleri hears of Okeke's new wife she soaks her clothes in Kerosene and kills herself. 'Veronica' is also about a young woman, Veronica, who lives with her family, in a small village. In her village she has a friend called Manak. Manak leaves the village to go to the city and make a career, leaving Veronica in her village. Years later Manak returned, to find that nothing had really changed, and Veronica was married with a child. Civil war broke out and Manak and Veronica lost contact again. When they saw each other again it was for the last time, as Veronica died (like her husband and child had done already) in Manak's arms. In every culture there are differences and similarities between them, so when you read two stories from villages that are alike in their dwellings, poverty and expectations the contrasts will be very precise. The two young women are from poor rural communities, one an Asian and the other an African village. The cultural traditions have formed the expectations for male and female roles which the women may or may not accept. Guleri had to live up to Manak's mother's expectations, and Guleri unintentionally rejected them by never bearing Manak a child. She married into a family with expectations for women to bear children to work around the house, and do what they were told to do, while men were more important. ...read more.


The writer needed to use something to show their sadness despite concealment of their feelings. The writer did this by not only using the stick as a form of symbolism parallel to their lives, but also the stick bobbing down the stream was an objective correlative. Towards the end of the story the river was used again. Okeke walked down to the river, 'he dug [Veronica] a grave and buried her and afterwards [he] watched the flow of the stream until it was time for [him] to go away for the last time.'. It showed their friendship moving away on the flow of the stream, the continual flow of the river showed that after all that had happened time goes on. The river that saw their friendship move apart twice would still flow on. Contrarily to Okeke's life going on and time continuing, Manak's life ended the moment he found out that Guleri was dead. Manak would stare, his face uncomprehending and expressionless. The moment Manak learned of Guleri's suicide by fire, his own life proceeded to burn out. Despite not dying, Manak followed a similar fate, which not even the love of another family member, or baby of his own could save him. The moment Manak's child was placed in his arms, he thought of Guleri, '"Take [my baby away]!"[Manak] shrieked hysterically, "take him away! He stinks of kerosene."' . It was the fact that Guleri didn't bear a child that indirectly killed her. The horror that filled his eyes and his hysterics that followed when he saw his child, are because, not bearing a child caused actions which provoked Guleri to want to kill herself. Then she killed herself using kerosene. These two things result in the baby metaphorically smelling of kerosene. Although Guleri was expected by Manak's family to be a wife, become a mother and be adult, Guleri was still childish. ...read more.


When a child is looking forward to something, it takes ages to get there. From an outside perspective of the whole story I regard Guleri's time as going by very quickly, as I know she has a very short amount of time left to live. The length of time between events in the story isn't very clear, for example, from the time when Guleri left Manak to go to Chamba and Manak remarried seemed like a long time, when it was actually just a couple of days. In contrast the writer of Veronica hasn't made the idea of time seem very important, but as the time passed by we were told about it. Right at the start we were told 'When I was twelve' by the narrator introducing us to their age. I then thought of how life should be for a twelve year old, and Veronica's childhood having been taken away from her. Then later to show us how much time had passed since they had seen each other, the narrator said 'It was ten years before I returned'. I think we just need to understand where in their lives we are reading, and the actual time surrounding the people isn't particularly important. The relationship between the unimportance of time and Veronica's lack of knowledge of time I think is important. Veronica would have only understood the years as they passed. Her death would have been a time that she understood. Manak's hysterical shrieks made me wonder whether Manak and Guleri's life would have been fine if Guleri hadn't gone to the fair, as neither of them were happy with the situations that resulted from Guleri going to Chamba. I don't think they would have been happy. I think Guleri would have ended up like Veronica. Guleri would have missed her family greatly, and if she continued to not bear Manak a child she would never have been able to leave him. As Guleri's longing to see her family grew larger, she would have lost the will to live and let herself go, and her childish fire would have burnt out. ...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 Child Development 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 Child Development essays

  1. Why family structures are changing.

    As john's father works during the day it is his mother who changes his nappy but when his father comes home he spends his time bonding with him this includes changing his nappy. John gets quite a number of hours sleep and as it is him who decides to sleep

  2. Children and the Law.

    However there are limits on the local authority's use of parental responsibility also, as there are a number of situations in which they are not allowed to exercise their PR for example to change Ellie's name or to refuse or agree to Ellie's adoption, so Ruth still has some element

  1. The main aim of this paper is to compare and contrast parental rights and ...

    unexplainable cut on her neck and that she had locked her mother outside the house. On the wife's appeal to the National Traditional Court, the lower court's judgment was set aside on the ground that the respondent was the one divorcing his wife because of her lack of education and the wife was ordered to return to her matrimonial home.

  2. The Emotionally Intelligent Team

    Daniel Goleman's (1995) publication of the book "Emotional Intelligence" which contained the above definition, popularized the idea of viewing the experience and expression of emotions as a domain of intelligence. It further stressed the supposition of multiple intelligences and ignited the present debate concerning the exact definition of EI and its most efficient and accurate method of measurement.

  1. Compare the use of fantasy in 'The Poor Relation's Story' and 'Superman and Paula ...

    Another factor which I believe is very significant to help explain why this child is so involved in her fantasy adventures, is that she was a loner. The only time she was allowed to play with the other children is when the game being played by them, needed an additional

  2. A life course perspective

    People are living longer than ever before with the advent of better health care. Theories are not facts; they must be questioned and explored before offering an explanation. They are like people, fluid in their implementation and they can not account for all the available evidence on human development but do offer useful concepts.

  1. Renaissance Men: Cellini and Pitti

    With respect to legacy Cellini completely surpasses Pitti's modest preservationist goals and uses his memoir as a vehicle to proliferate his fame and turn a profit. Cellini's autobiography, with its exploits ranging from bawdy to violent to heroic in nature, was clearly written to be entertaining to a public audience.

  2. Child development study - I will compare my visits and look at Aroushs development ...

    I played with aroush for a bit, and I think she felt comfortable and started to recognise who I was. I then took out a colouring book and some colouring pencils, to give to aroush. I saw that she looked really excited and happy.

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