Critical Appreciation of The Bangle Sellers Questions and Answers
The Bangle Sellers is a musical poem written by Sarojini Naidu. The poem is a song sung by the men who sell glass bangles at Village fairs or markets that are organised around temples during festivals are on auspicious days.
The different coloured bangles symbolises the different stages of a woman’s life as a young girl, a bride, a middle aged matron, and as an older woman.
Sarojini Naidu played an important an active role in India’s freedom struggle.
Her birthday is recognised as Women’s Day.
Although several critics have criticised this poem, as a celebration of our patriarchal society, it is important to see it as a reflection of the lives of countless women who selflessly devote their lives in the service of their families and loved ones, never expecting anything in return.
If we are to truly uplift women, and free them from the shackles of patriarchy, we must make an effort to understand their lives and the expectations that the society has of them.
Shining loads means the beautiful brightly coloured glittering angles. The Bangle Sellers use the word shining to describe their loads because they do not feel burdened by them.
They are carrying beautiful delicate bangles that will make their customers very happy.
The bangle sellers call out to their potential customers by saying who will buy these delicate bright rainbow tinted circles of light.
Here we see how well the bangle sellers are advertising their wares.
The bangles are delicate and brightly coloured, just like the vibrant colours of rainbow.
They catch and reflect light, which is why the poet uses the words circles of light. Thus, we see that by wearing these bangles, a woman is able to grasp and own a piece of fragile elusive beauty for herself. lustrous tokens of happy lives. This means that when a woman wears these lustrous or shining bangles. It conveys that she is leading a happy life. Widows in India are not allowed to wear bangles.
The bangles make a beautiful tingling sound, which adds to their beauty and makes the wearer feel joyful.
When a woman wears beautiful shining tinkling bangles.
It symbolises that she is well cared for and is conscious of her own beauty as well.
By using the word happy, the poet is communicating the human element of the bangles.
Daughters who wear these beautiful bangles are happy because they will be married soon. Wives who wear these bangles are happy because they are contented in their marital life.
The second stanza describes the different colours of the bangles that are meet or suitable to be worn on the wrist of Maidens or young girls.
These bangles are of silver and blue colours, and as delicate as the elusive and faraway mountain mist. Similarly, the young girls are also delicate and beautiful.
Some are flushed like the birds that dream on the tranquil brow of a woodland stream. Flushed means red in colour. Tranquil means peaceful. Brown means eyebrow.
Some of the bangles are of the colour of the birds on the plants that grow beside the woodland stream.
These birds live happily and grow in a protected peaceful, reassuring environment where they can dream of blossoming into gorgeous flowers.
The environment has been personified as a sustainer that watches over the growth and development of the birds just as a family watching over the growth and development of a young maiden who dreams of being married one day.
The birds are red, which is the colour of desire symbolising the longing in the maidens heart at the thought of getting married one day.
Some are a glow with the balloon that cleaves to the limpid glory of newborn leads. A glow means glowing. Blue means blossoming. cleaves means sticks closely to and limpid means clear.
New one leaves means the leaves that have just come out on the plant.
These lines mean that some of the bangles are beautiful, shining, fresh and unspoiled light green in colour, just like the colour of a new leaf, which has bloomed or sprouted on the plant.
Thus, in this stanza, the poet describes the first stage of a woman’s life as a young girl through her description of the bangles.
In stanza three, the poet talks about the second stage in a woman’s life. When she is a bride and is about to get married.
She wears bright golden yellow bangles on the morning of her wedding day. These bangles look just like the fields of corn, which is lit up by the sunlight in the morning.
The bride also wears fiery red bangles. They are like the flame of the sacred marriage file. This colour also expresses the passion in her heart about her married life.
The bangles tinkle when the bride moves, they are bright delegate and clear in colour, just like the laughter of the bride, because she’s happy to be getting married and starting a new life.
And also because at the same time, she’s sad, and sheds tears since she’s going to leave her parents and childhood home.
At this time, she’s in a very sentimental state of mind, wavering between laughter and tears.
In the fourth stanza, the bangle sellers tell us about the bangles meant for a middle aged woman, that is mothers and housewives.
These women wear purple and grey bangles that have gold flecks on them.
These women are mature. They have experienced life and have reached middle age in the journey of life. They have given birth to children and have loved, cared for blessed and brought up their children.
They have held their worthy sons close to their heart, and have served their husband and household faithfully. They have taken pride in being housewives and mothers and have done their duties perfectly.
Because of this, they have the honour of sitting beside their husband and worshipping God during religious ceremonies.
Womanhood means the essence of being a woman.
According to the poet, there are three stages in a woman’s life as a young maiden as a bride. And finally, as a wife and mother of a woman’s life is spent in the service of her family, and she enjoys this life.
Patriarchy means a social setup in which the Father is the head of the family, and property and decision making authority is passed on from the father to his son. Women are secondary and dominated by men.
The poem gives us enough evidence to point out the patriarchy in Indian society.
Throughout the poem, The woman has shown dreaming of marriage and fulfilling her duties towards her family.
Even after years of service, she has to sit by her husband side to worship God. She’s not in the centre.
Also note that the point mentions fair sons, not fair children, which tells us that she is expected to give birth to boys only. Thus, the poem shows us a true picture of many Indian families where women are subjugated, and people discriminate between sons and daughters.