The first story, “The Bats”, immediately shows one of the negative effects of arranged marriages and one of the three themes, abuse. “The Bats”, “The Maid Servant’s Story”, and “The Disappearance” all have abusive relationships. The mom in “The Bats” is beaten by her husband and is forced to flee for her and her daughter’s lives. The husband seemed to not have any regrets in spite of his letter to the mom that claimed that “… it won’t happen again” (11). After their return he did still abuse the mom and now the daughter. In the “Maid Servant’s Story” the abusiveness is clear in from marriages in this story. Sarala’s husband and mother abused her by forcing her into prostitution. Sarala was afraid of going back because she knew they would continue to send “...men to my room… for the money” (138) and she was happy in her new job as a maid. She was afraid of returning to being forced to have sex for money, but as a result she was assaulted by the husband. After Sarala fought off the husband and her mother storms the house she is forced to return to her abusive family. This is a case of an abus...
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...a job. He claimed he was just being firm, a lie he told himself to cover his guilt. He was in denial of his disrespectful behavior. The women of in Arranged Marriage were usually not treated with respect by their families and husbands. This problem of disrespect is just a single aspect of the negative nature of arranged marriages. The three predominate themes in Arranged Marriage, abuse, tragic endings, and a lack of respect, illustrate how toxic the environment formed through arranged marriages can be. Divakaruni uses these themes in the short stories in Arranged Marriage to show how a marriage that is not formed with a deep personal connection and time to for the couple to get to know each other, like in an arranged marriage, can be detrimental to the health of the relationship. Chitra Divakaruni makes it clear that she is opposed to the idea of arranged marriages.
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