Response to The Red Candle

When I read “The Red Candle” by Amy Tan, at first I was at a fix at the idea of betrothal at the age of two. I read that paragraph twice to make that clear. Again, I have to consider that the story is written in the plot of a period approximately 100 years ago. Early marriage is also a common phenomenon in Bangladesh, or should I say “was” a common phenomenon, but I have never heard of getting betrothed in such an age. Isn’t it too much? Childhood is the most wonderful period of a human being. How can parents think about their marriage when it’s time to play for the child? One thing also teased my mind that, after getting betrothed, family starts to treat with the daughter like she is not their daughter at all, she is a property which belongs to other. In my opinion, a girl is at first a daughter to her parents. Later she becomes a wife, a daughter-in-law, a mother and so on.

Moreover, in the story we see that Lindo can memorize those moments when she was two and her mother-in-law came to see her along with the matchmaker. Is it really possible to memorize anything from that age? And how did she understand the identity of the two ladies? This seemed to me a bit superficial.

The rural people of my country are much superstitious. I think they were more superstitious in the past than now. While reading the story, I found out that Chinese people were much more naïve and superstitious than us. Lindo’s mother-in-law was easily fooled by her lie about the dream of ancestors, and that drove the lady to take the major decision of letting Lindo go and marrying off her son with a servant! In addition, the ritual of burning candle was also a superstition.  Again, I also accept that every culture and community has their own rituals and superstition which I respect as well.

In the end, I would like to say that I liked the character of Lindo a lot! She is not superstitious like others and she is committed to her parents. She kept the promise that she would be an obedient wife no matter how hard it was to be. She did everything to make her in-laws happy. At last, she took a clever step to get rid of all those toils and lead life in her way.


About fmoriam

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