Dowry as a Problem

World Literature +ib english
Thematic unity in Structural diversity.

Different people from distant cultures placed centuries apart need not speak the same languages or write in the same style but if at heart they are both human, then it is likely that when dealing with certain issues they may share a common perspective. On witnessing the subjugation of women in their societies both Euripides and Premchand wanted to remove the blindfold from the eyes of the ignorant masses.

As Euripides’ ideas and views were more modern and revolutionary than those of his contemporaries, scepticism, compassion and anger often permeated his works. Moses Hadas affirms this by saying, “the main aim of Euripides new approach is to criticize the antiquated conventions of a constricting social order which hamper and oppress contemporary life”. Medea depicts this in terms of the victimization of the female protagonist by society and her husband. Much like Euripides, Munshi Premchand was a prolific writer with a firm humanistic commitment. He was witness to the odd Indian customs that most orthodox lower and middle class Indian families had to face. In Nirmala Premchand focuses on the devastating effects of the prejudiced dowry system on an innocent and caring girl.

In Nirmala we see Pandit Moteram on the look out for willing men who are not asking for much dowry (like buying goods at best Although there was a well-bred man from a respectable family who was asking for a nominal dowry in the list he brought back, Kalyani chose the one who was not asking for any dowry at all. She literally bargains with her own daughter’s life to get out of the fix she is in but its consequences, as we see later on, were disastrous. The qualities of Nirmala’s fiancé or the injustice that she may have to put up with once she gets married means nothing to Kalyani as getting rid of Nirmala is her primary concern any ways.

Premchand and Euripides felt this injustice that was inadvertently...