Growing Up Untouchable in India

In the chapters “Fearless” and “Callousness and Clouds” of the novel Growing Up Untouchable in India, gender discrimination was implied. Indeed, as a boy, Vasant Moon was sent to school and oriented to achieve valuable goals such as a saheb (11). He was also the recipient of thorough care and attention. In contrast, his mother possessed nothing for herself. For instance, the decision to marry lay in her father’s hand, and all her father’s properties also lay in her brother’s hand, Laxman. The definition of the inequality between genders seemed to absorb so deeply in Moon’s community that many girls didn’t have chances to go to school because they were anticipated being wives. For example, at the age of 16, his mother was considered to be old and somehow a leftover, which would be rotten unless it was used soon. Therefore, her father, without taking into account of his daughter’s real happiness, approved of her marriage with an affluent drunkard. Besides, like other girls, his mother was raised as a beautiful flower in a garden; indeed, she said no curses or did no household chores. However, after that, she was sold for a stranger and considered as a non-living object. In fact, everyday, his husband, Waman, would savor his diversion by beating her; moreover, he was so indifferent to her cries and insists that he sustained forcing her children to drink alcohol. What a ruthless husband and father!

Furthermore, the two chapters didn’t describe Moon’s attitude towards his father. Did he awe him? Did he dislike him? Or was he afraid of him? What did he think when witnessing her father beating his miserable mother? What did he think when being forced to drink alcohol? I think that this curiosity might be satisfied according a scene in the novel: Moon and his sister went out to beg (22). His love to his mother was infinite, so he could sacrifice his reputation and shame to reduce his mother’s pressure. What a good son! Therefore, how could he express his animosity towards a person who exploited his beloved mother while that person was his father?

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