The Roots of Life

Dieumerci Mukoga
Dr. Hoagland
27 September 2011

The Roots of Life
Deliverance is a short story by Premchand. The story is mainly set in a village in India that Dukhi lives in. The story is set around the Hindi caste system and the hierarchical foundation that India is sadly found on. Dukhi is part of “The Untouchables” which is seen as the lowest class in the caste system. Pandit Ghasiram, a priest is part of the elite wealthy class known as the “Brahman.” The Brahman also includes educated and intellectual individuals.
Dukhi needs Pandit to set a date for his daughter’s wedding, but he has to go to extreme measures to receive a date. The Untouchables and Brahmans are a part of two separate classes which can be represented by the separate rings in the tree trunk. The tree trunk represents the caste system, Duhki and the Brahmin’s life journey and upbringing. Although both Duhki and the Brahmin live in the same city, their roots didn’t run in the same direction.  
The tree trunk symbolizes the caste system in many different ways. The thickness of the trunk symbolically shows how thick the caste system is and how hard it is to destroy it. It’s “a fairly thick tree trunk on which a great many devotees had previously tried their strength” (Premchand 64) but didn’t accomplish anything in breaking the trunk. This shows that many people have tried to work their way up to the top of the class to be with the Brahmans but they were quickly drawn back to the bottom. The caste system is set in a way where the poor stay poor and the rich stay rich or get richer.
The tree trunk symbolizes how trial filled Dukhi’s life has been, with every new ring on the tree comes a new obstacle for Dukhi to face. He “began at once to carry out the orders. He swept the doorstep, he plastered the floor” all because the Brahman told him to do it. Dukhi is like the trunk because he didn’t get to choose what roots he could come from.   The trunk is also thick to symbolize how deep...