Portrayal of Women in Excellent Things in Women

Pages: 3 (1100 words) Published: December 8, 2013
Portrayel of women with reference to the title of the story "Excellent things in women"
Sara Suleri, writes in her first chapter, “Excellent Things in Women” about the important characteristics of her female relatives. She has a keen eye for the behavior and essence of her grandmother and siblings. It is interesting to note how Suleri develops the character of her grandmother from an adult perspective and what her childhood memories add to the picture of Dadi the reader gets. As the narrative progresses Suleri shares some of her grandmother’s little idiosyncrasies such as the walking sticks she would cut down from the garden even though Suleri’s father would buy her dozens. We become familiar with Dadi’s traditional values through Suleri’s description of her grandmother sitting in the courtyard in the late afternoon winter sun. Not only does Suleri convey Dadi’s values and personal character but the reader also gains a sense of Dadi through Suleri’s extremely effective physical descriptions of her grandmother which often seem influenced from her childhood mind. The description of dadi reflects how her grandmother had allowed life to sit heavily upon her spine. It appears only natural that all major events in Dadi’s life centre round food, eating and talk. Food, eating, cooking and feeding are in fact are the most natural activities associated with women. In a way, it is a universal symbol of women’s life. Similarly Dadi’s devotional acts - from prayer to ritual sacrifice of goat, her ‘berating of the Devil’ and Ramadan mastications are routine events of every Pakistani household. It could easily be argued that Dadi is a heroine of sorts in “Excellent Things in Women.” Suleri quotes her grandmother’s wise remarks and admires from a distance her strength. Yet, toward the end of the chapter Dadi is shunned from the family’s daily life and dies alone. Suleri admires her grandmother but does not further explain the distancing of Dadi from the family. It is clear...
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