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Discuss the portrayal of Indian society in this poem.

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Introduction

Discuss the portrayal of Indian society in this poem. Deception, written by Rabindranath Tagore is told through the eyes of a narrator, who is the husband of Binu. He tells a story of Binu and her husband and their life together in Indian society. In the poem the portrayal of Indian life, is illustrated through various aspects, such as arranged marriages; the class distinctions, Laksmi the goddess, the poverty and dowries. The class distinctions in Hindu society are called the Caste system. This is portrayed in the poem at several occasions. When Binu introduces Rukmini to her husband and explains that Rukmini needs money. 'She looked me in the eyes, Bowed, withdrew to the platform where she stood clutching a pillar' This shows that obviously Rukmini was in a lower class than Binu's husband because of the way she reacted, she bowed to and then withdrew from his presence and stood at a distance. I think that Rukmini might have been in the 'untouchable' caste because she did not consider herself worthy enough to even stand in the presence of Binu's husband. She had to go and stand at a distance while Binu explained Rukmini's need for money. The way that she bowed in front of him also portrays that she was lower class than him because she was showing him a sign of respect. In The Caste system the Jats determine which range of jobs you do. ...read more.

Middle

I think that perhaps Binu and her husband had, had an arranged marriage because it says in the poem that 'Left her parents-in-laws house for the first time since marriage' 'Our meetings furtive' This shows that the couple had not met of their own accord, but that their parents have arranged for them to meet. They have only met secretly and on very brief occasions. This shows that there was an arranged marriage because you do not marry someone that you have only met a few times in your life. Parents when looking for a suitable husband for their daughter in arranged marriages have to look for certain things such as the social castes that they are in and financial status. It is the girl's parents that traditionally pay for the wedding as a gift to the newly wed couple. They shower the girl with presents that she is to give to the groom's family when she moves in. It is traditional that the bride goes to live in the groom's family. When the couple marry everything that once was the wife's now officially belongs to the husband. The quotation above says that Binu after living with her parents-in-law left there house for the first time. This supports the fact that Binu and her husband have had an arranged marriage. Another quotation that supports the fact that the couple had, had an arranged marriage is 'The airless sequestration of the joint family' This portrays that the family have lived in very close contact with Binu and her husband. ...read more.

Conclusion

family that either disrespect the rules of the dowry system or they are not wealthy enough to supply a sufficient dowry for there daughters wedding. This is therefore what Rukmini is saying in the poem, she is pleading to Binu because I think that perhaps she feels that she will get a better reaction out of a woman who has never really seen the world and has lived rather a sheltered life, than a man who is in one of the highest groups of the Varna. She is saying that if she cannot afford the dowry and if she does not give one then her daughter will be rejected from the marriage, which will be embarrassing for the family. Therefore, I conclude that the poet has used the portrayal of Indian Society to try and make people who are reading the poem understand the way that Indian Society actually works. The poet portrays the caste system in this prejudiced way because maybe he feels that the system is principally unjust. The Caste system has many floors, but it has brought some sort of order to Indian Society meaning that people are recognised and distinguished. The poet uses the portrayal of Indian Society very well to get the effect of the drama and desperation in the poem. The poor lady Rukmini needs money so that her daughter can get married she is desperate for help and pity from the rich. However the uncompassionate husband feels that Rukmini is unworthy of even touching his shadow. Theodora Birch ...read more.

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