Materialism – Jhingur judges himself by the value of his property as if this defines his character Quote: “Whenever Jhingur looked at his cane field a sort of intoxication came over him. He had bighas of land which would earn him an easy 600 rupees. And if God sawto it that therates went up then who could complain? Why should he worry about money? The merchants were already beginning to fawn on him. ” From the beginning we seem to focus on the character of Jhingur that seems to value wealth over what may be for himself and his community. Instead of focusing on how his work can positively affect his life, he focuses on the negative.
His focus is on his need to make money from his fellow farmers as possible, believing himself to be the better person. Social Issues Explotation Both men are propelled into acts of vengeance that it ultimately destroyed both of their fortunes. This derived from a primitive need for the characters to compete against each other. The material desires at the end have blinded them, and they may never see the true value of life. They brought about their own destruction. The core of this story lies a lesson on how materialism can impair our ability to see what is best for our life.
In the period during which India evolved from colonial domination to independence, Tagore and Premchand were pioneers in Modern Indian literature. Their literary works pioneered social issues and the social structure of India that concentrated on the oppressed, human emotions, destruction, oppression of women and life. These authors proved that they can focus on the psychology of the characters instead of social realism. We will explore the context of the stories through the characters journey’s and struggles and unfortunate consequences in the end.
“Punishment” portrayal of the complex relationships among the members of the Rui family and how tragedy can delve into real issues that we have hidden. “The day on which our story begins was like this….. That day, Dukhiram and Chidam had been working near the zamindar’s office. On a sandbank opposite, paddy had ripened. The paddy needed to be cut before the sanbank was washed away, but the village people were busy either in their own fields or in cutting jute: so a messenger came from the office and forcibly engaged the two brothers.
As the office roof was leaking in places, they also had to mend that and make some new wicker wood panels: it had taken them all day. ” (p. 893) Two peasant brothers and their wives share a house together. The short-tempered, sloppy wife, Radha, is killed by her husband, Dukhiram, in a fit of anger for failing to prepare the evening meal. The village chief intrudes on the scene immediately following the murder, and the other brother, Chidam, unintentionally identifies the beautiful wife, Chandara, as the killer.
Chidam instructs Chandara to lie to protect her brother-in-law. Now, we start to see the divison in the male and female hierarchy. Before this revelation, despite their love for each other, Chandara and Chidam had trouble in the relationship. Chandara suspected her husband of infidelity, and began flirting at the watering hole. Chidam then threatened her stating, “I’ll break every bone in your body” (p. 896) and locked her in the house. She escaped to a relative’s house, but was persuaded to return only after Chidam “had to surrender to her.
” (p. 896). When we examine this relationship, it great to point out that Tagore states, “It was as hard to restrain his wife as to hold a handful of mercury. ” (p. 896) Chandara has achieved a sort of power by submission; we tend to question where the balance of power lies in this relationship. The chain of events after the murder further explores the complexity in the relationship of Chidam and Chandara. When discussing the murder they agree that Chidam will save Chandara from execution, if she agrees to his lie.
Chidam expects Chandara to relate that her sister-in-law attacked her and that Radha was killed in self-defense. After being taken into custody by the police, Chandara defies her husband by telling the police that the attack was unprovoked and puts her own life at risk. She was so angry with him that she refuses to see him before her execution stating, “To hell with him. ”(p. 899). She accepts the punishment for a crime she did not commit in order to punish Chidam. She will not give him the satisfaction of saving her.
Chidam gets her to take the blame for the crime but loses in the end by not getting his wife back. The story is unique by telling a story about the complex nature of human behavior and the unjust social set up of how women had no social status and importance in a family. Evidence of how the oppression of women is shown when Chidam states, “a wife can be replaced but a brother cannot be replaced,” (p. 894) clearly points out women are not valued. Tagore touches on women being oppressed and how social injustice was a common thing issue for women in rural Bangladesh during that time.