'Stench Of Kerosene' was written by Amrita Pritam approximately fifty
years ago. This emotional short story mainly revolves around the
relationships between a woman, her husband and his mother. Another
important theme is the significance of cultures and traditions in the
The main characters are Manak and Guleri, who are husband and wife.
Guleri and Manak are a loving couple who live with Manak's mother in a
small village in India. Guleri cannot give birth and her mother-in-law
desperately wants a grandchild.
Once a year, during a special festival, Guleri visits her parents in a
nearby village. This year, Manak halfheartedly tries to persuade his
wife not to go. Adamant, Guleri pays no heed to her husband's baseless
wish, and goes to visit her parents regardless. Upon her departure,
Manak's evil mother decides to bring an end her grandchild-less
status, and immediately purchases a wife for Manak, in the hope that
this new bride could have the baby Guleri could not.
When news of her husband's betrayal reaches Guleri, she commits
suicide by dousing herself with kerosene, and consequently setting
'Desirees Baby,' by Kate Chopin, amongst other themes, also explores
the theme of relationships.
Desiree, the female protagonist, is an orphan who was found at the
front of the Valmonde home, lying asleep in the shadows of a big stone
pillar. Madame Valmonde, the owner of the large house cannot have
children; hence welcoming the child and treating her as her own.
When Desiree grows up, she marries a man from a prestigious family.
After a period of marital bliss, they both have a child whom they
... middle of paper ...
...they do not obviously
state what was wrong with the women. Desiree is made out to be so
sweet and loving - her beauty helping to draw the readers into
sympathy for her. It is not blatantly stated that it was stupid of her
to commit suicide. Likewise, Guleri should really have had trust in
her husband, and listened to what he told her instead of proudly
ignoring his pleas. This shows that although their relationship
outwardly shows happiness, there were some serious problems that
occurred beneath the surface. Hence, I conclude that in 'Desiree's
Baby," Armand was wrong to have so much pride, but Desiree's weak
character spurned her awful fate. In 'Stench of Kerosine,' Manak was
weak and stupid, but the consequences of his marrying again could have
been avoided if Guleri trusted her husband. It is simply too easy to
blame the men entirely for what happened.
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