The ramayana Critical Essay
Equality is a state men and women will never agree on. Standards for both genders vary when compared. The differences between the genders are clearly shown in The Ramayana. Women are Judged by their beauty. A perfect woman must be beautiful and loyal to her husband. Men are not only Judged by their beauty, but also by their strength. Because women are often considered the weaker sex, men are expected to protect the women. Everything about a woman revolves around her appearance. Women are Judged by their appearances. Beauty is the first aspect a man notices when meeting a woman. Sita is “a woman of unearthly beauty’ (Narayan 76).
Rama falls in love at first sight with Sita and Ravana falls in love with the mere description of Sita. This shows how significant a woman’s appearance is in The Ramayana. Before anything else is taken into consideration, beauty will always stand first. One’s personality is determined by how beautiful one is. It is believed that with beauty, comes good things such as loyalty and kindness. The rest of a woman’s personality follows through after beauty. Because Sita is beautiful, she is also assumed to be loyal, trustworthy, and polite. After all, everything about a woman comes in a package.
Ugly women have different stereotypical traits. Women who are considered ugly are the exact opposite of Sita. Kooni is not a positive influence on any of the characters in The Ramayana. “Kooni [has a] deformity (Narayan 116). ” Her hunched back is considered an imperfection, which goes against the stereotypical portrayal of women at the time. As said before, beauty is the root of a woman’s personality. Kooni goes against the standard for women at the time, which makes her evil and manipulative. Kooni’s outer appearance determines how everyone else sees her as in heir own eyes.
The significance in explaining beauty is that everything was based on a woman’s beauty. From how they acted to how they treated, everything revolved around how beautiful a woman was. Portrayed as the weaker one, women do not have much ground. Rama immediately rejects Sita after he saves her. She needs to reach the brink of death in order for her to be trusted. Sita “light[s] a fire… on [the] spot (Narayan 161)” and jumps in. Only when the great god of fire presents Sita with words of blessing did Rama welcome her back. This shows how women are never given the benefit of the doubt.
Women are always accused of being guilty before innocent. Because men have more power in society, men are the ones who are assumed to be innocent not guilty. Men will always have the upper hand in society. If there was a dispute between a man and a woman, the man would be in favor of winning Just because he is the gender that is more respected by all. Men’s power is shown through how well he is able to protect women. It is their duty to protect women. Although Vali’s brother is his enemy, “[he] still wanted to protect and help his wife when he was gone (Narayan 110). ” Protecting women is top priority”no matter what the situation is.
Vali and Sugreeva hate each other. They are always neck and neck with one another. When it comes to protecting Sugreeva’s wife, Vali is able to put his feud between Sugreeva to the side and happily guard Sugreeva’s wife. This is significant because it shows how women were more valued in society, but treated with less respect. Men The roles for the different genders in The Ramayana are different. Women are known for their beauty while a man’s status is portrayed through how well he can protect a woman. Both relate to the strength and appearance one has on the outside. All other traits follow what is physically seen.