The Road to Salvation

Topics: India, Social class, Sociology Pages: 3 (947 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Dhanpat Rai Shrivastava was born on July 31, 1880 in the small village of Lamahi, located near the city of Banaras in India. Although born into the Hindu Kaystha caste, made up of professionals including writers, doctors and lawyers, his family was poor. His father was a low paid postal employee. His mother died when he was only eight years old. His father remarried, but Dhanpat Rai did not like his stepmother. He studied Urdu and Persian, languages used in literature and administration in 19th century North India at a nearby school. He recalles his childhood fondly in one of his stories, so it is fairly safe to assume that he was a happy and well cared for child.

Dhanpat Rai was married at the early age of fifteen. This marriage did not last long, possibly because he was rushed into the marriage by his father. He later remarried a balavidhava, or childhood widow named Shivrani Devi. This marriage was a happy one, and they had several children together. She was said to be very supportive of him throughout their lives together.

Dhanpat Rai graduated from school at the age of eighteen and began to teach around the countryside. He taught for a few years in various North Indian towns while earning a college degree.

Dhanpat Rai began to write when he began teaching school. He took up the pen name Premchand when he began writing. His writing was more than just a past time for him; it was an attempt to change the social structure of India. Premchand died at the age of 56 on October 8, 1936. His causes of death were a gastric ulcer, dropsy and cirrhosis of the liver.

In "The Road to Salvation", the author is trying to point out some of the problems in the social structure of India. In this story, two working class men financially and spiritually ruin each other. Premchand is not only trying to point out the unrest between members of the same caste, he is also trying to make people see that as long as they ruin each other, nothing...
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