Radha as a wife Essay

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Radha as a wife

Indian society expect wife to be devoted for all traditional duties and support her husband in all thick and thin. Radha in this movie has done the same. Radha’s husband leaves her at young age due to his inability to take care of his family after the accident where he loses both his hands. Radha goes here and there searching for him and expects him to come back until the end of the movie. Radha sees his glimpse on her elder son and remembers him all the time whether it is festival or when she becomes grandmother.

Radha’s devotion towards her husband is presentation of expectation of Indian society from the Hindu wives. Radha as a Mother Radha as a mother is brave mother. She adores her children, feed them and bring them up. Her children give her due respect. In the movie, it is shown that Radha shots “Birju” her younger son. This is something contradictory to the social norm and image of mother in society. Mother is expected to ignore all bad about her children and remember only one thing of her motherly love. Radha goes through hardships for the survival of her children.

Wealthy “Sukhilala” the moneylender offers Radha money and food during flood and crisis in the exchange of her beauty, Radha for a moment becomes ready to feed her dying children but as soon as she regains her conscious, she beats him up, comes back, struggles to find food, and survives. In this movie, various scenes have been presented in the way that the motherly love or the social depiction of mother is protected. As soon as Birju is shot, Radha throws the rifle and runs to hold him and Birju is surprised. This scene presents the unexpected behaviour in a manner that audience would accept and appreciate it.

Radha as a Villager Radha as a member of a community holds certain responsibility for the land and her village. During flood when people start leaving village, she requests them and urges them to stay. She thinks about welfare of her village. She beats up and even kills her son when she finds him doing something against honour of village. Her younger son tries to take away moneylender’s daughter forcefully; she refers the term “Gaon ki beti (daughter of the whole village)” for her. This was despite of the fact that the moneylender was root of all the problems in her life.

Radha as an Individual At each stage of her life, Radha has proven herself a strong woman. She has maintained her self-respect and courage. She did things that were socially right. She was right of selling off her jewellery and paying off as much debt as possible to avoid the consequences of loans and interest in the future life but as a female and youngest member of the family, she could not take decisions. She had taken up all the responsibilities with courage. Her character in every form reveals the purity which society expects from a woman.

GANDHY and THOMAS comment on Radha , “It is important to recognize that, throughout the film, Radha’s ‘power’ or ‘strength’ is integrally bound up with her respect for ‘traditional values’ . . . it is as a paragon of wifely devotion and chastity . . . that she is accorded respect and authority” (1991, 118 as cited by Booth 1995). Table: Images from the Movie Image Subject Radha as a bride and wife Radha as a Mother Radha as an Individual Various themes that are covered in this movie are as follows: • Representation of various aspects of rural woman • Post-independent India.

• Transferable debt burden of a family from elder member to next earner, • Hardship of farmers, • Greed of moneylender, • Social pressure on handicapped husband resulting him to be ashamed of his condition and leave his family, • Vulnerability of woman without husband, • Single parenting in hardships of life, • Conditions of farmers and their survival in the condition of natural disasters like flood • Exploitation by the stronger sections of the society like “Sukhilala (money lender)” in this movie, • over-expenses in marriages and the extent to which people can go for showing off in marriages.

• Hunger strike of families in flood, starvation and death of a child, • Religious faith and Devotion for motherland, • Lack of education, • Violence resulting from the exploitation • Choices an individual makes between good and evil. • Ultimate sacrifice of son by his mother for the honour and well being of village • Changing conditions of rural India Conclusion There are very less woman centred movies are made in Bollywood. Number of movies with the theme where woman has been able to bring change in the society is very less.

In most of the movies, woman has less significant roles as compared to male characters. The subject of the movie Mother India is not just bold but also it is though provoking. The movie was released in year 1957. This was a period of post independence. Women in the society had to follow very strict social norms and guidelines. The tolerance zone for behaviour of a woman outside these social norms was narrow. The character of Radha has not just followed these norms beautifully but also posed several questions about the women in the society. Radha made a choice for good by killing her son.

The starting of movie indicates the progressing India with the Water Canal inauguration by Radha, who is referred as Mother India. This movie has given food of thought to people. Radha was not just a character but also an agent to bring change. She was devoted wife like Goddess Sita and fierce Mother Goddess Kali twice first when she dealt with “Sukhilala” and second when she killed her son. Probably justifying Radha’s character was the most challenging aspect for the filmmaker, which he has done successfully. Radha did not leave her land even in the worst condition.

Not just that she was able to convince other villagers to stay for the good of all. Radha talked about welfare of land and the village. She was determined and proved her concerns of welfare of society. The most appealing factor of the movie was the representation of characters in contradictory modes. Character of Radha became more appealing and powerful with the contradictory representations. Mehboob Khan represented rural India and a rural woman in a manner that it not just offered entertainment values to the audience but also gave a strong social message to the society.

Reference: Booth, G.D, Traditional Content and Narrative Structure in the Hindi Commercial Cinema, Journal: Asian Folklore Studies, 54:2. (1995) Pg 169 Rosie Thomas, “Sanctity and Scandal: The Mythologization of Mother India,” Quarterly Review of Film and Video 11:3 (1989): 11-30 Images retrieved on 29 Oct 2007 from • www. tribuneindia. com/2005/20050526/main1. htm • www. oscarguy. com/Resources/Annual/30th. html • www. afc. gov. au/… /archives/2006/04_oct. aspx • www. afc. gov. au/images/puffs/motherindia1puff. jpg • http://www. boloji. com/cinema/062a. jpg • http://hcl. harvard. edu/hfa/films/2006fall/melodrama. html.

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