He the respected matriarch in the town.

 He was an important part of the town from then on. The story is set in South America in Chile. The town is a remote one.

The culture is very individual and the town would be small. Because the town is small and remote the people in the town are very close. Everyone will know everyone’s business. People would trust and respect each other and stick up for each other, especially for the woman who has helped them out so much, the schoolteacher. The town may be small and remote but it does have a police force that the town had to hide the body from and its whores who distracted the police while the people drove away the body.The important themes relate into the story because the town is so small.

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The town is small and therefore the people will all know each other and look after each other. Also they relate with each other because when the woman’s’ sons’ murderer turns up in the town and the woman cuts off his head the towns people help her get rid of the headless body. The town gets out of its own way and shields what the woman has done from the law. She is the respected matriarch in the town. The people will help her to dispose the body before the law finds it. They also help her cover the body and hide it from where anyone can find it.

The schoolteacher receives a lot of respect in her town because she is a woman who is educated and looking after herself. She has her own business and lives alone. In the time the story happened, women were still seen as less capable of having control, being prosperous and less respected than men. Because she has had a lot of success by herself she receives so much respect in her town. Her culture and expectations has affected her life in that way. She would not normally receive all that respect as an ordinary. The town had not forgotten about the death and loss of the boy.As soon as the towns’ people had heard about the news of the murderer being back the people became lively and excited by it.

People seemed to lose their fear, in line 135 ‘Women carried their kitchen chairs out to the sidewalk and sat down to enjoy the cool air’. Line 135 suggests that the people are breathing a sigh and sense of relief that the man has been found. When the men return form barring the body they found that the lights of the town were still on and no one had gone to sleep. The people were celebrating. A Stench of Kerosene The main themes in this story are: Loyalty; A feeling or attitude of devoted attachment and affection.Often used in the plural:” My loyalties lie with my family” Love; A feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair; the emotion of sex and romance Other important themes in the story are expectations, culture and marriage.

All of these themes affect the main characters lives. They mainly affect the character Guleri’s life. All of the factors affect her life, decisions and expectations. The story is set in India in the mid-twentieth century, in a Hindu district. The culture in India expects that the people get married at a young age and have children at a young age.The parents of the male want their son to have children early because they want to keep the family name. The wife of their son has to live with them and not the husband live with the wife’s family. The story is about love as are most of the other stories we read.

The stories veronica, country lovers and the school teachers guest are also about love. In the story the culture the people live in effects the way the people behave and their expectations. The important characters, whose lives are affected by their culture, are: Guleri, Manak’s wife, (girl) Manak, Guleri’s husband, (boy)and Manak’s parents.

In the story the girl Guleri and her husband Manak are not yet adults. They are both very young still. Guleri lives with Manak and his parents. Guleri only sees her parents and friends once a year and they live in another town quite a way away. The couple do love each other, but in India there are arranged marriages. When Guleri leaves the lovers are split up for a bit as in the story Veronica.

Guleri does not want to miss the opportunity to go to her parents, the same as the boy in Veronica who does not want to miss the opportunity for a better life.This shows us that she is leading a very independent life. She is not allowed to make her own decisions. Guleri loves to go see her parents for those few days every year. But this year when she is gone Manak’s mother has something planned.

Guleri doesn’t appear to know about it at first. Manak obviously tried to tell Guleri about it because he was trying to persuade her to stay this year and not go to see her parents. He started saying in the story: ‘My mother… ‘ But stopped.

He knew about what his mother wanted and wanted Guleri to stay so he would not have to go through with it.If she stayed then his mother could not bring the ‘other’ wife in to Manak and they certainly would not be able to force Manak and Guleri apart then. Manak couldn’t find it in his heart to say to Guleri what his mother had decided for him.

The couple are obligated to have children and that comes into conflict with their love for each other. Guleri knew what was going to happen. Her love and loyalty to Manak overcame her decision to live. At the fair she burnt herself. Manak however responded to the new bride.

He didn’t emotionally but physically. He only did so because it was his culture and the way things worked in India.Guleri wouldn’t give Manak a child yet so his mother paid for a new bride for her son to bring a child to carry on the family name. The couples’ lives and decisions had been affected by their culture in their society.

Manak felt that he had to respond to the new bride. He didn’t want to but he did not protest against it because it would be disrespectful to his custom and family. Guleri did not want to accept that that was the custom she had to live with. She was in love with Manak and didn’t want to be second place.

She was not willing to accept the culture. At the end of the story Manak said: ‘Take him away!He stinks of kerosene. ‘ This could be symbolic to say that the child reminds him too much of Guleri, whose death had something to do with kerosene. He did not want the child near him because it was not from the woman he loved. But again he had to accept it as it was his culture. Women’s expectations in that time were:  To produce an heir for the family name, therefore a son not a daughter.

  They are only objects/possessions. Not people with feelings, emotions or many rights. * If the woman cannot have children she is unfit for the parents son. So the parents would find their son a new or second wife.


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