Traditional Bridal Dowry Box as a Social Evil in Indian Society

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A satirical website created in 2011 calculates the amount of dowry women need in order to marry the men of their choice. The website mocks India’s social evil, and it exposes some of the unhealthy factors families consider in order to arrive to “dowry rate.” Some of the factors are caste, education of the groom and even skin color. In India the custom of dowry is a very old tradition that originated in the 13th or 14th century, when women were not given any share from paternal wealth and when women were regarded as the property of either their fathers or their husbands. At that time, dowry was giving women some pre-mortem inheritance and some economic security. Traditionally it was a Stridhanam – daughter’s wedding settlement, but in 20th…show more content…
The passages suggest Roy’s critique of the institution of dowry. Thus the excerpts bring value to the whole book itself and help Roy pursue her goal of criticizing the Indian society through literature and show how outdated the concept of a dowry is. These passages have also an importance because they challenge the society in a way that dowry, a widely used tradition by the people, is depicted as old-fashioned. Arundhati Roy depicts dowry as old-fashioned when she describes the hotel “Heritage.” Author says: “The furniture and knickknacks that came with the house were on display. A reed umbrella, a wicker couch. A wooden dowry box. They were labeled with edifying placards that said Traditional Kerala Umbrella and Traditional Bridal Dowry –box.” (Roy 120) It is interesting how the dowry box is on the display as in the museum in order to show well known but old Indian tradition to the tourists and guests. Roy’s description of dowry in these three different situations lets the reader understand how Roy tries to progress dowry from being used in Ammu’s situation, to not being important as in Rahel’s situation and later being an antique in the hotel.
Arundhati Roy uses different writing techniques in order to emphasize her criticism of the system and voice her opinions as a political activist. There is no doubt that Roy cleverly uses diction and flow in order to more clearly depict to the reader her vision of dowry- as an old-fashioned concept , as

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