The short story “The Disappearance” by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni basically is about an Indian man who lived in America. At first, he married an educated Indian girl. However, she, unlike her husband, did not have a traditional mindset. She eventually left him, and this was something which he could not accept. He started to recall the times when she was with him. He was in a state of denial that his wife could possibly leave him when he thought he had been good to him, and that he had done enough to satisfy her. However, this was not the case. His wife wanted a modern husband – one who would let her have her say, and not only bringing her to Yosemite Park. He tried to forget about her, but he could not do so. He then came across a light
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For instance, his wife wanted to wear American clothes, but he insisted that she wore Indian clothing. He also objectified both his first and second wives as trophies. He had many expectations of his first wife at first – he described his ideal type of woman as if she were an object subject to his likeness. This is proved by the quotes in the short story, “If you can find me a quiet, pretty girl, he wrote, not brash, like Calcutta girls are nowadays, not with too many Western ideas” and “But she had to be smart, at least a year of college, someone he could introduce to his friend with pride”. His way of putting it makes it clear that he viewed his wife as a prize or trophy which he could be proud of and show off to his friends. After his first wife left him, again he had specific “requirements” that needed to be fulfilled in looking for a second wife. This time, he wanted a simple and uneducated woman. This main theme here reinforces feminist criticism in the way that women were viewed as objects rather than individuals, especially in this story where the society is patriarchal, and that the women were expected to obey and give precedence to their husbands.
The sub theme of “The Disappearance” is the duties of women as wives. The women work as full-time housewives. The first wife was economically oppressed. This can be seen from the quote “Once in a while, he had to put his foot down, like when she wanted to