Pundit’s Sexual Lust for Sohini

“The Pundit recognized her as the sweeper’s daughter. He had seen her before, noticed her as she came to clean the latrines in the gullies in the town – the fresh young form whose full breasts with their dark beads of nipples stood out so conspicuously under muslin shirt, whose innocent look of wonder seemed to be stir the only soft chord in his person, hardened by the congenital weakness of his body, disillusioned by the congenital weakness of his mind, brazened buy the authority he exercised over the faithful and the devout.  And he was inclined to be kind to her” (29)

Anand, Mulk R. (1935). Untouchable.  New York: Penguin Books.

Notes: Pundit’s sexual lust for Sohini, Bhaka’s sister and a sweeper’s daughter; pundit lusts at Sohini’s youth, beauty, innocence, and female features (“fresh young form whose full breasts with their dark beads of nipples stood out under muslin shirt; innocent look of wonder stirred soft chord in his person”); Pundit’s weakening of mind and sexual lust for the daughter foreshadows rape; shows difference between economic status- Pundit (Brahmin) and Sohini (untouchable); During the 1930’s, due to their belonging in the upper caste, the upper caste men had the freedom to do whatever they wanted, hence, they took advantage of low caste women.  Since the Pundit was a Brahmin, it was alright for him to lust for Sohini.  As I read this passage, I was disgusted at the way how the Pundit was looking at Sohini and I felt pity for Sohini for she was unaware of the catastrophe which was going to strike her.

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