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The Farmer’s Wife Questions and Answers
You refer to the farmer
I refer to farmer’s wife.
Speaker’s husband committed suicide because his cotton crops failed as a result he failed to repay the debts.
The farmer’s wife contrasts how the farmer, only had to face pain and humiliation before he died, where as she has faced it all her life. Second biggest contrast between them is that she is optimistic who chose life, where as her husband chose death.
The farmer’s wife points out that he found release with poison and that poisoned her bitter existence. She also says that he embraced death but she will embrace life. These contrasts indicates that the farmer is pessimist where as his wife accepts the challenge of being a lone widow and a single mother.
a. Complaining about her husband’s death
b. Lamenting the death of her husband
c. Angry that her husband has left her.
d. Bitter about her husband’s act
e. Worried about her future
All the above answers are correct
The memories of her husband abusing and kicking her when he was drunk, she recalls his ill treatment and misbehaviour, which troubles her now.
The phrase ‘harvest of my womb’ refers to the farmer’s children. Their suffering is compared to worm eaten cotton pods as they are now left without care or nourishment from the primary earning member of the family.
The husband’s suicide has left her with an outstretched hand and bent head. She is alone and without any support.
A will to survive against all odds.
1. Many times the tone suggests the attitude of the speaker what kind of attitudes are suggested by the words ‘virtuous’, ‘poor sinner’ , ‘he is but a man’, ‘what of this?’, ‘why is this?’
2. What kind of questions does the poem raise about the plight of farmers ’widows? Do you think that these questions are only addressed to the speaker’s dead husband?
A well known Telugu writer P Lalita Kumari whose pen name is Volga has been successful in bringing out the plight of a farmer’s family after he committed suicide. The Farmer’s wife is translated by Vasanth
Kannabiram from the Telugu poem ‘Chavuni Kaadu Batukuni’ which means ‘Not Death but life’.
The poem reflects on the Farmer’s wife lamenting over the death of her husband. She considers herself to be a ‘sinner’ as he has left them behind unable to face the creditors. The farmer is considered virtuous,
as he is dead and gone. His failure to sell the crop or to bend his head before the creditors made him put an end to himself. She says she was born with bent head and stretched for favours. But, his wife is left
behind alone to deal with all these problems.
The farmer committed suicide by consuming poison, but the family will have to survive with the consequences of his decision. The destruction of the crop has
lowered their dignity so also their livelihood. He found relief with the poison but that has made her existence bitter. She is disturbed with the thought of her four children. The farmer’s wife used to be treated very badly by her husband. She was abused and criticized always and often kicked by him when he was drunk. But still she tolerated all this keeping in mind he is a man.
She admits she has escaped death many times in his hand, and also adds that such a death blow was something unexpected from him. The poem is the struggle for life and the urge that the farmer’s wife has to live and fight against all odds. This is necessary for the sake of her four children. She does not want to give up life as her husband did for the worm eaten cotton pods.
She has a firm heart and willingness to embrace life only to help her children to come up in life facing all the difficulties. Farmer suicides are infact, a big concern. It is indeed an act of cowardice. One must learn to cope up with life and understand
that there is a solution for any problem. One must remember the amount of burden in the form of debts and the loss of earning they leave behind before opting suicide.