The Disappearance By Chitra Banerjee Divankaruna

1157 words - 5 pages

The husband is perplexed in the short story “The Disappearance” by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, as he does not see how his past actions would cause his wife to be unhappy in her life with him (there are no names associated to the characters in this story). The husband is the protagonist of the story. The story is not clear on the reasons for the wife leaving not only the husband, but also her son. The reason for this is the author utilizes a third-person narration that focus on the protagonist husbands prospective. However, as the story continues the writing exposes that the wife left the protagonist husband for the reasons that he reveals of being boring, thoughtless, demanding, and all about himself, as the author establishes with the protagonist-focused, third-person narrative.
The husband is able to provide for his family with a position in an office, logically his intellect is not in question; his emotional stability has defiantly been affected. Therefore, this brings the author to rely on the husband’s perspective to divulge the fundamental components of the story using a third-person narration. For a year the husband thought that his wife had been kidnapped, yet he never checked her person effects to see if anything was missing. Only because the mother needed additional spices did the husband check for the jewelry that he advised that the wife stash in the top cabinet in case there was an intruder (1995, p. 587). Once the missing jeweler was discovered the husband knew that the wife then abandoned not only him, but also their the young son.
The high level of expertise by the author using the third person narrative of the view of the protagonist husband shows that he was oblivious to the fact that his wife was very unhappy with him before she left. As an example when the police officer asked him if they had any quarrels before she left, he told the officer no. The protagonist husband later recalls the last interaction that he and his wife shared before she left for her nightly walk:
“Surely he couldn’t be blamed for raising his voice at those times…or for grabbing her by the elbow and pulling her to the bed…. He was always careful not to hurt her, he prided himself on that…he’d stop if she really begged him, if she cried…After some time she would quite struggling” (Divakaruni, 1995, p. 586)
This quote provides proof that the wife was not consensual in the act of sex with her husband, and that it was probable that the husband was raping his wife after forcing her into bed and yelling at her. The fact is that the husband was oblivious of how was actually treating his wife, and still states that he had pride that he did not hurt her (Divakaruni, 1995). The husband was in fact hurting his wife mentally, physically, and emotionally. Since the author used the third party narrative, the protagonist husband was completely ignorant and shows how he was insensitive of the ways that his acts affected his wife.
It is quite clear from the...

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