Last Updated 29 May 2020

Stench of Kerosene, by Amrita Pritam

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. Discuss. Ans:-“Stench of kerosene” by Amrita pritam is a depiction of our social construction of society which deals with woman condition and social stigma and belief. It discusses relation between mother –son, husband-wife in rural India. It pictures poignant indictment of marriage that still exists in Indian villages. It has portrayed marriage as an act of producing children in domestic front which exists till now.

It has figured woman as a machine for manufacturing young ones. And in some stance it shows the patriarchal view. In the first section of story Guleri seems very involved in her life . she was a good daughter and a good wife. Manek loved him very much but due to the dominance of her mother he was not able to overcome the echelon of suppression. Manek’s mother authoritarian figure in the whole story has come upon in a dominant manner. She is the decision maker of the family which we do not find generally in Indian rural households. Often in rural India women is subjugated and oppressed and are not given the proper due. You have been away for a long time’ exclaimed his mother ‘Did you all the way to chamba? ’ This line clearly depicts how her mother reins her house. She always seems to keep manek under her control. To this manek replied with heavy tone ‘Not all the way to the top of the hill’ His heavy tone was the sign of his awareness that his mother is going to tie his not with another woman since guleri was not able to bore even a single child. This non acceptance of the disability to bear a single child clearly illustrates that woman in society even in the urban field is only supposed to produce children’s.

Also the decision of manek‘s second marriage was taken without the consent of Guleri. This cast a shadow of importance given to the women even also when the decision is related to the innermost facets of their life. Here the subjugation of women can be easily drawn out. And when his mother again says that ‘Why do you croak like an old woman’? “Be a man” Portrays how a man should be and displays the patriarchy of the society i. e. showing the masculinity to the inferior sex on social grounds. Guleri was not able to accept that manek has married again. She loved him so much that it seemed end of the world for her.

Since the person she believed most, deceived her {even under pressure from his mother} has closed all the door of reconciliation with the manek . It truly cut her from the very core of heart . And that lead to immolation to show her faithfulness towards her love by sprinkling kerosene on herself. This step does not show that it has come totally on her own will , here she also fears from the society of her non- acceptance. That she might be ostracised from the society since her husband has abandoned her due to her infertileness. This story seems realistic here that has now got embed in social practise in the rural India.

Manek affection towards Guleri was there till the very end of the story but he was not able to put up his feelings that he will not able to forget her throughout his life, in front of her mother. His unbiasedness towards Guleri reflects when he shouts “take him away! He stinks of kerosene”. Here kerosene which is used for inflammable purpose reminds him of his dead beloved wife Guleri. This illustrate his immense love and devotion that is buried deep inside his heart which often comes out which is the proof that he was wrong. He did not oppose his own mother in taking such decision.

This story is very realistic on grounds of Guleri’s immolation, Manek’s second marriage. But taking the role of his mother that does not seems much realistic. Since generally the patriarchal form of family exists in the rural households. And all the decision of the house are taken by the male member of the family. Woman has very less or no says at all in the decision process

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Stench of Kerosene, by Amrita Pritam. (2016, Dec 30). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/stench-of-kerosene-178221/

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