Analysis of ‘an Old Woman’ – by Arun Kolatkar Essay

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Analysis of ‘An Old Woman’ – By Arun Kolatkar

In the poem “An old woman” poet Arun Kolatkar uses the image of a mendicant old woman to symbolize the decay in society which he is trying to convey through the poem.
The poem dives right into the subject matter, there is no description of the setting or nor any physical description of the woman, because the poem isn’t meant to be an image of a particular city or a particular person. All of us have at some point been in the situation of the narrator in the poem. And quite a few of us no doubt on some occasion have reacted the way the narrator did. And this is the very aspect of the poem which raises so many thoughts in our minds.
The poem starts with an old decrepit lady holding the
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Instead before the narrator can say anything the woman remarks “what else can an old woman do in hills as wrenched as these”. This one sentence catches the narrator unexpectedly, forcing him to look at eh old woman from closed quarters. Finally she seems to have his attention, and when he really looks at her for the first time he, in a sort of 'revelation', becomes aware of the decay which has set in her person and which is extended to the decaying tradition symbolized by the hills and the temples.
It is then that he realizes the hypocrisy of society and the decadence of the social system that has ruined the old woman to a beggar. he finds that the social fabric is destroyed, architectural features go into ruins. Human values are forgotten. The old woman's condition reduces the narrator to a small status when he feels as insignificant as that small coin in her hand.

This poem humbles us to remember our responsibility to society. It reveals the callousness, a failure on our part to take care of the elderly, protect our heritage and preserve our values. In the rush of materialism and the desire to achieve, one takes all that one can from society, but giving the same back is largely forgotten. So the cracking hills, crumbling temples, crumbling of social order is directly a result of our negligence, our failure to act responsibly. Somewhere, the materialistic world has made man selfish, trapping him in a

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