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

Examining the way culture or ways of the society impinge upon the stories "Snapshots of a Wedding" by Bessie Head and "The Young Couple" by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Consider how, in any two stories that you have studied, the culture or ways of the society impinge upon the story. The two stories that I have decided to choose for this essay are "Snapshots of a Wedding" by Bessie Head and "The Young Couple" by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. The first story that I will examine is "Snapshots of a Wedding". Throughout this story there are various references to Botswanan culture and Botswanan society. The main thing that strikes me at the beginning of the story is that it appears to be changing from a more traditional society to a more modern society. "No one had been awake all night preparing diphiri or the traditional wedding breakfast" and "the bride was six months pregnant and showing it, so there was just going to be a quick marriage ceremony at the police camp" both give me this impression. The society appears to be largely uneducated as Neo "was the only one who had completed her O-levels". However, they do not appear to be resistant to this perception, as "she never failed to rub in this fact". She is considered to be lucky, too due to the fact that her husband-to-be has made her and another girl pregnant! "Life had treated Neo rather nicely. Two months after completing her O-levels, she became pregnant by Kegoletile with their first child. ...read more.

Middle

Perhaps the reason for this is that "sly men with dirty fingers touched her surreptitiously from out of the crowd". Perhaps women are seen as easy targets in India and so must stick in groups or not go out at all, as she is pregnant, which adds to the concern. The society seems to be rich and almost materialistic as there are various references to her "long blonde hair" and at one point, there is an image of her lying "on the bed, on her stomach, one foot with a silver slipper dangling from it up in the air, her fingers twisting her golden plait". Blonde, golden and silver are all adjectives describing material things, rich in wealth and quality. This may be reflecting the style of the society. It seems that in India, the society and culture encourage women to be covered and not exposing various parts of their bodies to entice men. I get this impression because there is particular emphasis on her "low-cut pink nylon nightie with a lace top" and a contrast to her "pretending to merge with a crowd of modestly veiled women". There is a communication problem, too. This is most magnified when the "sweeper-woman came and there was no other language but smiles and nods by which she and Cathy could communicate". However, when Naraian speaks to the sweeper-woman "rather too rudely and loudly, Cathy thought, the sweeper-woman never seemed to mind, on the contrary, she showed her pointed teeth wider, whiter than ever". ...read more.

Conclusion

However, Indian society is more developed, as there are "various sorts of jobs that this social standing and background permitted her to do". In Botswanan society, the role of women appears to be changing. They seem to be gaining more prominence in everyday society as "she had endless opportunities - typist, book-keeper or secretary". However, Indian culture appears to be the same as in previous generations as it remains that women stay at home and do household work as housewives. "Our girls do not go out into these bazaars alone. It is not proper for us," tells me this. Finally, in Botswanan society, there is freedom before and after marriage for men as "let him come and go as he likes" tells me this. However, there are no such offers in Indian society. However, there are also similarities between the two cultures or ways of the society. Such an example is the concept of large families in both the stories. In the Botswanan story, this is backed up by the fact that "she became pregnant (with their second child) six months before the marriage" and in the Indian story, "the house was quite large enough to absorb a large amount of married sons with their young families". Both societies appear to be matriarchal as, in the Botswanan story, "he prepared the huts in the new yard and "was rich in cattle". In the Indian story, "Our girls (Indian girls) don't go into these bazaars alone. It is not proper for us. ...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 Sociology 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 Sociology essays

  1. What do you find interesting about R.K. Narayan's presentation of Indian society in the ...

    beggar fails to realize that the dog has been loyal to him and continues to use him and mistreat him. In "The Evening Gift", we come across Sankar, who is similar to Raju. He too is a poor and an uneducated man.

  2. Compare and Contrast 'Overcoat' By Ghulam Abbas and 'The Blue Donkey' By Suniti Namjoshi ...

    holes a dirty vest was seen which was worse than the sweater. It was as if the young man had not had a bath for at least two months. Layers of dirt covered the body. Only the part that could be seen by the public was well powdered and clean, the rest was filthy.

  1. Theory and Practice of Work with Young People

    they will remain unable to join the included majority' (Payne, 2001: handout) By the end of the 19th century, compulsory education and a growing number of welfare statutes meant that youth workers focus shifted from welfare and rescue to a concern with the moral character of young people which was underpinned by the growing influence of Victorian family ideology.

  2. Enough is never enough.

    They provide us with gadgets that allow us to carry out several different tasks at one time, which are tempting to have, thereby creating more wants. As fashion builds, with new styles and trends coming out everyday, it overwhelms us with a new look, which is new and exciting, that

  1. From a reading of Hardy's short stories, discuss how Hardy brings out the aspects ...

    We can see the simple life the lower class were subjected to and the rough work the lower class were faced with, and this can be seen in the two quotes, 'It was an eighty - cow dairy, and the troop of milkers, regular and supplementary, were all at work',

  2. In the following assignment, it is my intention to produce a research report, examining ...

    S46 of the Civic Government Act 1982, which reads: 'A prostitute (whether male or female) who for the purposes of prostitution a) loiters in a public place, b) solicits in a public place or c) importunes any person who is in a public place, shall be guilty of an offence'.

  1. Peggy Orenstein's Schoolgirls: Young Women, Self-Esteem and the Confidence Gap - review

    While speaking out in class gives repeated fortification of a student's right to be heard and to take risks, the girls at Weston seem to silence themselves. The underlying teachings at Weston teach the girls to value silence and compliance as a virtue (36).

  2. How the film "Outsourced" shows the effects of culture shock on an American in ...

    And factors help Todd in adapting includes Todd?s personality and his relationship. Because Todd is tolerant, sociable and open to new idea, he rapidly get change in modifying his life. Moreover, Todd?s friends such as Asha, Puro, and Aunti Ji help him get on with new challenges in coping with new culture.

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