In the stories read concerning India and South America, women play important roles. Some are not so tasteful while others portray them as strong and independent. In each story, woman are allowed to express themselves quite differently. They lead a life that dos not parallel ours but hopefully one day will.
Women in India occupy a paradoxical status. On one hand, there is an abundance of goddesses occupying pivotal places in Indian mythology. On the other hand, there are inhuman [email protected] piled against them; Sati, Dowry-system, etc. come to mind. Yet, now there are possibly more Indian women in scientific, medical, and professional areas than many [email protected] Western nations. After all, India boasts of the first woman Prime Minister in the world! However there are no end of reports of wife burning, female infanticide, battery, rape that take place in a democratic India. However it is hardly mentioned that women and men in India are doing something about this situation. The average record of the last decade though is still very disturbing. According to a newspaper in New Delhi, every 6 minutes, a crime is committed against women. Every 7 minutes a woman is raped, every 45 minutes a woman is kidnapped or abducted. 335 of women are subjected to cruelty. 17 dowry deaths are reported every day. In the reading done this semester it is shown that the treatment of women in India is not often understood.
AThe [email protected], written by Prem Chand, is a perfect example on how women are disrespected by their husbands. The women in the story dies during childbirth and her husband is worried too much about his own enjoyment than purchasing a proper shroud for her to be burned in. This is quite an isolated case though, because the people of the village are ashamed by his actions. The husband, Madhav, and his father, Ghisu, go around the town weeping for the death of the woman but their tears are false. All they want is money. She lived miserably, working only to feed her and husband and care for the children. Ghisu said it best when he sais Awhy do you weep my boy? Rather rejoice that she is freed from this web of illusion. Escaped from this tangle of misery. She is lucky to have broken loose so soon from the bonds of maya. A Perhaps Ghisu is only trying to say that to alleviate his guilt but he is correct.
In [email protected] , the author is trying to show that the main character Fateh Chand is quite unlucky. His name means AThe Moon of [email protected] but the author claims it would be more appropriate to call him AThe Slave of [email protected] To prove tis the author goes on to say Ahe had no sons, but tree daughters, no brothers but two [email protected] By saying this he is at a disadvantage. In India the practice of dowry has grown so perverted that birth of a daughter is despised as a curse to the family. Dowry implies the demand made by the bridegroom=s family on the brides family in an arranged marriage.. The bride=s family , under social pressure, and having regard to the welfare and safety of the bride, has no option other than capitulate to the demand of the groom=s family. In AWho [email protected], he reader sees the stress an arranged marriage can have on a young woman. Anand, the main character, has been set up to marry a woman named Janaki. Anand=s mother spends her time training her to be a good housewife to her son. Anand=s friend notices that Janaki is Aany mother-in-law=s ideal-quiet, obedient, [email protected] The only problem was that Anand had gone to a school in America and the old traditions did not suit him very well.
Anand=s friend, a female, also studies in America with him and she is the epitome of a modern Indian woman. She is independantm assertive and will not allow any man to make decisions for her. America molded ner to be this way. In [email protected] though, the wife of Fateh Chand, Sharda, is the strong one while Fateh Chand himself is weak. She has determination. It is her push that forces Fateh Chand to fight his boss and to keep his pride. AThe biggest thing for