Books and Movies Reviews

In a great Man’s House

In Ruth Prawer Jhabvala;s;In a Great Man;s House; the story happens in India where the social, religious and cultural situation is very different from what we have in our western society. The oppression of the Indian women, poverty and social casts are issues that are still very present in India. But, although the story take place in a setting very different from ours, it portrays basic features of the human personality which most people consider universal. The author describes in a brilliant and insightful manner the complex net of human relationships. She show to us the balance between power and powerlessness through Hamida;s marriage with Khan Sahib. She also tell to us about the perception of ones self and the experience of motherhood.
Hamida is in a situation of constant shifts between power and powerlessness. This frail balance depends on the reference fame she is in; she is powerful among her family but powerless at home. This power she has among her family comes to her because she is Khan Shib;s wife. In addition to being the wealthiest member of her family she is the one with the highest social status. On the other hand, when she is at home she is powerless because Khan Sahib is in control.
But what are the reasons that justify this power difference between Hamida and her husband? First of all it is Khan Sahib who controls the wallet, he is the one making the money and even though he is generous and allows his wife some freedom in the use of his riches, Hamida still has to ask his permission which makes her dependent of him and gives him a firm claspof the power in the relation. Another factor that influences the power struggle in the marriage is prestige. Khan Sahib is a talented and well known signer, he is respected and admired by all especially the men in Hamida;s family who are also artists but not as accomplished as him. By contrast Hamida is a ;mere; housewife an occ…