Conflict Between the Traditional and Modern Values of an Indian Society in Smoke and The First Party

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Conflict Between the Traditional and Modern Values of an Indian Society in Smoke and The First Party

'Smoke' and 'The First Party' display two points of view on the continuing conflict between traditional and modern values. In Indian culture, tradition holds the highest status of importance possible, second only to, or perhaps next to, religion. Indian traditions and culture is one of the oldest in the world, arising from 5000 BC. Perhaps this is why modern Indians find it so hard to comply with traditional rules and regulations a they were set in and for the people and civilizations of an ancient time.

But indeed there still exist beings in the forms of grandparents and great - grand parents who
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This is shown when the readers are introduced to Shubha who is waiting for someone. In the first three paragraphs we see much movement in Shubha - "Her hands wandered", "picked one up", "slammed it shut, pushed it back and walked out of the room". This continual movement, however, doesn't build up a sense of excitement or liveliness, as in 'The First Party', but rather a feeling of forced labour. Up until now we as readers do not know that Shubha's restlessness is linked to tradition and family. But the revelation that she is waiting for her mother-in-law (and that her husband had died) explains it a little. She like most of the new generation of Indians is perhaps uncomfortable with the idea of age-old traditions, with Ba symbolizing this.

This attitude is clearly evident in Shubha's description of her feelings. Phrases like 'vast sea of overpowering emptiness' and 'oppressive tormenting afternoon' are rather drab and exhaustive perhaps symbolizing Shubha's own life under the tyranny of tradition.

In 'The First Party' we are introduced to a Bride who unlike Shubha, who welcomes anything that takes her away from her bondage, like the man who invites her home. But the Bride, like Shubha is very uncomfortable in her surroundings. She disapproves and voices her concern though not openly. Her words are rather fierce and violent and perhaps these

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