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Movie Provoked and Divakaruni's story The Disappearance - Essay Example

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Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is the author of Arranged Marriages which is a book with many short stories including The Disappearance. The title of the book is quite self-explanatory; the stories revolve around married couples who have been set up together through their respective family members and have gotten married without getting to know each other well. …
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Movie Provoked and Divakarunis story The Disappearance
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"Movie Provoked and Divakaruni's story The Disappearance"

Download file to see previous pages It is about their experiences as they – especially the wives – fall down headlong the rabbit hole that is marriage. Jag Mundhra’s movie Provoked is based around similar themes, too.
In The Disappearance, there is a seemingly perfectly ordinary couple whose marriage had been arranged together after the man had given his approval of the prospective bride. This is one thing that is quite common in the Indian culture; the man has the choice of choosing his wife whereas the girl is not given the same courtesy. When Kiranjit expresses doubt about her marriage stating that “(she didn’t) even know him”, an acquaintance tells her that “(she doesn’t) need to” (Austin and Gupta). The man in the book, too, has certain ideas in his minds regarding what his wife should be like, he wanted a partner who was “a quiet, pretty girl” and “not brash” (Divakaruni par. 8). Even though he lived in the United States, he still wanted someone who was the epitome of the typical Indian wife and not one who had “too many western ideas” (Divakaruni par. 8). He wanted a meek minded wife who would not interfere with his decisions but was smart enough as to not embarrass him in front of his friends.
They get married within the week regardless of the fact that they do not know each other at all. Appearances can be misleading after all. The wife does seem like a spineless creature who follows her husband’s wishes but, in the end, it is she who manages to escape her empty life knowing that her son was safe. In Provoked, Deepak comes off as a charmingly romantic hero who loves Kiranjit but it is after their marriage when he starts showing his true colors, she is “emotionally, physically and sexually abused for ten years” (Austin and Gupta). To an outsider, the marriage written about in The Disappearance is quite good compared to the normal standards. The woman does all the housework and takes care of the son whilst the man goes out to earn money. So when she disappears, everyone thinks that she has come across an accident. For all intent and purposes, the husband does seem to have some good characteristics especially when compared to certain men who consider their wives to be their property. He lets her go out on walks daily so that she can have “time for herself” and is only “happy to watch his little boy” unlike some husbands who consider all the childrearing to be the job of their wives (Divakaruni par. 3). He is proud of himself for “being an honest man” and drills in the importance of the same moral in his son, too (Divakaruni par. 5). He lets her decide on how to furnish the kitchen and what places to visit. He is careful not to hurt her and imagines himself to be “a good husband” who indulges his wife (Divakaruni par. 10). It is not until later that the reader realizes why exactly the wife ran away from him and her child, and how the man is the same as the others but just has the ability to sugarcoat everything. Again, there are the double standards about the Indian male and female regarding the right to say no amongst other things. The husband wanted a smart wife which he got but when she mentions going “back to school” to school, he does not allow her to (Divakaruni par. 10). Kiranjit is not allowed to continue her studies or fulfill her mother’s dream about being a lawyer. He forbids her from getting a job as well as dressing up in American clothes even though they would have helped her fit in the strange, new land. When Kiranjit dresses up in Western clothes, Deepak tells her not to “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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