Virtues Of A Perfect Bride
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Virtues of a Perfect Bride by Chris Mount English 101 Dr. Mary Ann Kohli October 12, 2001 Chris Mount Dr. Mary Ann Kohli Eng 101 October 11, 2001 Virtues of a Perfect Bride In Dandin’s “The Perfect Bride,” Saktikumara is searching for patience, creativity and a good sense of other virtues in a wife along with her beauty. The definition of virtue is as follows: moral excellence and righteousness; goodness and an example or kind of moral excellence. Saktikumara is looking for a wife to do the daily duties around the house like clean, cook, and tend to Saktikumara’s ever need. In his search for this perfect bride he gets laughed at but in the end he finds a girl whose name is never reviled. Through out the story the girl proves that she has all the wifely virtues along with the beauty that Saktikumara is looking for in a wife.
When Saktikumara finally finds this girl her shear beauty amazes him. He goes on and on, from toe to head just describing how beautiful she is. “Her toes are pink inside; the soles are marked with auspicious lines, of barley grain, fish, lotus, and pitcher; her ankles are symmetrical and the feet well rounded and not muscular” (136). Starting at her feet he now keeps on describing her.
“The calves are perfectly curved and the knees are hardly noticeable, as though they were swallowed by the sturdy thighs. The loin dimples are precisely parallel and square and shed luster upon buttocks round as chariot wheels. Her abdomen is adorned by three folds and is slender around the deep navel, even a little caved. The broad based breast with proud nipples fill the full region of her chest. Her copper red fingers, straight and well rounded, with long, smooth, polished nails like glistening gems, adorn hands which show the happy signs of abundance of grain, wealth, and songs. Her arms which start from sloping shoulders and taper to the wrists, are very delicate” (137).
Saktikumara goes into great detail about this girl’s body, which leads one to believe that beauty has a very profound impact on finding that perfect bride. Obviously one would not want an ugly bride. Saktikumara then describes the girls face with even more detail.
“Her slender neck is curved and bent like a seashell. Her lotus-like face shows unblemished red lips that are rounded in the middle, a lovely and unabbreviated chin, firm but fully rounded cheeks, dark brows that arch a little but do not meet, and a nose like a haughty sesamum blossom. The wide eyes, jet black, dazzling with, and reddish brown, are radiant and tender and profound and languidly roving. Her fore head is shapely like the crescent moon, her locks darkly alluring like a mine of sapphires. The long ears are twice adorned, by a fading lotus and a playful stalk. Her long, abundant, and fragrant locks are glossy black, every single hair of them, and do not fade to brown even at the ends” (137).
Yet again Saktikumara describes the beauty of this girl. “When her figure is so beautiful, her character cannot be different” (137). Beauty, though not a virtue, is a major part of what Saktikumara wants in a wife.
Saktikumara has a test for his potential bride to take to prove she has the wifely virtues. The test is to take two pounds rice and make a meal with it. The girl starts by washing up which proves she is conscience about being clean. “and finally took all the rice grains out of the husks with out breaking them” (137). By not breaking the grains proves she is gentle and handles delicate things delicately. “Then she said to her ayah: “˜mother, jewelers want these husks; they use them to polish jewelry. Sell it to them and, with the pennies they give you, you must buy good hard firewood sticks, neither too dry nor too damp, a small sized pan, and two shallow bowls” (137). Using the husks to sell and then buy the things she needs to cook the rice shows her having good saving and spending habits as well as being conservative.
This last virtue is also shown by selling the charcoal to get vegetables, curds, oil and other things. The detail she takes in preparing the meal and also how she takes two pounds of rice and makes it a whole meal with vegetables and all shows her creativity. “Once he had brought her home, he ignored her and wooed a courtesan; the bride treated even that woman as her dear friend” (138). Even though Saktikumara ignored his other woman it was accepted in that culture to do that. The girl was not jealous of this other mistress. She even made friends with her. In the end she was made to be in charge of everything in the house by having the virtues she did.
Saktikumara found everything he was looking for in a wife. He found beauty from head to toe, which led him to believe she must have a beautiful personality. Her virtues of cleanliness, gentleness, and creativity prove she is what Saktikumara wants along with being conservative. In the end she gets control of the whole house and looks after Saktikumara. “Thus, I say, a wife’s virtue is a man’s happiness” (139).
Dandin. “The Perfect Bride”. World Views Classic and Contemporary Readings. Pg 136-139.