Stench Of Kerosene, Country Lovers, And The Schoolteachers Guest

1679 words - 7 pages

Explore the ways in which the lives of individuals are affected by
the expectations and traditions of the society in which they live in
(Comparison of this in the novels Stench of Kerosene, Country Lovers
and the Schoolteachers guest).

Explore the ways in which the lives of individuals are affected by the
expectations and traditions of the society in which they live in.

The 3 stories we have read which are Stench of kerosene, Country
Lovers and the Schoolteacher’ s Guest, are set in a variety of
different cultures and each story reveals a lot about the traditions
and expectations of the people who live there. For instance when
reading the different stories some ideas and ...view middle of the document...

Guleri is introduced by naming her chores, followed by the fact that
she never sees her parents even though they live in a close by
village. Guleri’s duty is a specifically female one. Our perspective
of a woman’s chores would be to take heed to the welfare of both her
husband and her children however Guleri’s is a completely different
one, which reflects on how the Hindu culture differs from others.

“She went about her daily chores—fed the cattle, cooked food for her
husband's parents”.

In order to obey his mother's commands, Manak marries another woman.
He could and should have resisted this order but instead, due to his
weak character, he listened. Instead of adamantly refusing to marry
another, he plead with Guleri not to visit her parents this year,
because he knows the consequences. Additionally, when his mother
'purchased' the second wife, he didn't try and resist the temptation
of consummating the marriage, despite not feeling comfortable with the

“This year, true to her decision, she had paid Rs. 500 to get him a
second wife and now she had waited, as Manak knew, for the time when
Guleri went to her parents to bring in the new bride. Obedient to his
mother and to custom, Manak's body responded to the new woman. But his
heart was dead within him.”

From this, it is apparent that Manak is ruled and overpowered by his
domineering mother. This story highlights the mentality of a lot of
primitive Indians

Symbolism is used in this text and is obvious in the title “Stench of
Kerosene”. It brings a bad feeling to the reader because it is used in
a negative way. It is used to kill herself. It also symbolises guilt
due to the reactions after the death. It results in anger and

Another story, which expresses the cultural pressures people face, is
Country Lovers, which is set in South Africa during the time of
apartheid. The writer is Nadine Gordimer, a South African woman .As
the title indicates, this is a story about lovers. In this case, they
are interracial couples forbidden to be together by the laws and mores
of South Africa during apartheid. While interracial couples face
problems all over the world, the particular circumstances of apartheid
create serious problems for Paulus and Thebedi as well.

In this story, the writer reveals many things in order to show the
difference in lives between the blacks and the Whites during

From a young age the children know not to mix with black people, they
know what’s right and wrong from in their culture.

“The farm children play together when they are small; but once the
white children go away to school they soon don’t play together
anymore, even in the holidays.”

She says the white children go away instead of black suggesting that
white children are more important and that they should be the ones
trying to get away from the black kids.

The fact that Paulus and Thebedi had to hide the fact that they...

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