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Saheri's Choice Essay

  • Submitted by: mirzariyazz
  • on April 18, 2015
  • Category: Miscellaneous
  • Length: 462 words

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Below is an essay on "Saheri's Choice" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The film Saheri's Choice focuses on the continuing (although outlawed) custom of child marriage in India. It explores in particular the dilemma created by the conflict between such age-old practices and the modern value system. According to Hindu custom, Saheri was married at 10 years old to a boy of similar age, but has remained living with her parents. Now 17 years old, her parents want her to go and live with her husband and his family. But Saheri does not like her husband, and is very fond of a young man named Babulal who lives in New Delhi. Saheri's family lives much of the time in a shanty town in New Delhi where they make a meager income selling newspapers. Babulal, the object of Saheri's affection is from the same caste, and works in construction in Delhi. Initially, Saheri's parents disapproved of this relationship since she was already married (albeit unconsummated). Moreover, Saheri's father will have to pay compensation if they agree to have the marriage annulled. Despite these concerns, he does not want to force an unhappy marriage on his daughter and approaches the panchayat (village council) to mediate the problems between the two families. Saheri is fortunate -- an annulment is agreed upon leaving her free to choose her own future spouse.
Saheri's younger sister, Kali, has not been so lucky, married as an infant and widowed at 8 years old, her current life now consists of nothing but 'domestic drudgery'. The film also explores other instances of child marriage where the brides are not offered a choice of spouse. One illustration is the tragic case of Shakuntla, a young, unhappily married woman suffering from hysteria and being treated by a village exorcist. The narrator points out that short of "committing suicide or becoming crazy", such a public display of anguish is one way for a village woman like Shakuntla to draw attention to her unhappy marital situation. Child marriages are not confined to the lower castes; we are also introduced to...

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