The underlying possession that the main character in the story goes through is uncertainty, shifting of roles and trauma. In the broad description of the narrative, the author wants to show how hard it is for humans to deal with change. A good example of a character that had difficulties dealing with change is Taraka. Taraka was Sita’s friend, who committed suicide after discovering that she was pregnant and unmarried. Taraka could not handle the changes that had happened to her body. She also feared the wrath of her father if he could discover that she was married when still a teenager. Taraka’s decision to commit suicide to escape the wrath of her father shows the expectations of a woman in their culture. Their culture did not allow people to get babies without getting married first.
After Taraka’s death, the authors show how Sita was possessed by her friend’s demons. Her possession does not start until she gets married, which means that she has to leave her parents home and start her duties as a married woman. The fact that the ghost waited until she got married signifies the importance of marriage in the set culture. Since the ghost was her best friend, there are possibilities that the ghost was advising her to take her responsibilities as a married woman, which was the expectation of the society. Sita’s married was consumed, which added to her stress (Freed and Stanley 8). According to the author, in the Indian culture, it was very usual for the bride to be possessed by ghosts.
The story claims that Indian women from the rural places are expected to adjust themselves socially and psychologically after they get married. In the story, Sita left her natal family at a very young age. Just as the culture expected her to do, she indulged herself to her marital family, where she loved and cherished her in-laws. Their culture required married women to restrict their movements after they are chaperoned. According to their culture, the husband’s kin was regarded social superiors than the married woman and her kin. The Indian culture required a new bride to carry the burden of onerous farm work and household chores (Freed and Stanley 8). On the other hand, the daughter in her in-law's family is expected to do fewer chores and farm work when a new bride arrives in their house. The daughters in the husband’s family are also expected to undergo the same ordeal once they get married.
The culture expects a newly married woman to be informed on the relationship between childbirth and menarche. The knowledge is expected to make her know the right time to have sexual affairs with her spouse. All the cultural expectations make women to be vulnerable psychologically and socially, which make them a candidate for ghost attacks (Freed and Stanley 9). Possession needs a mixture of individual susceptibility and atmosphere, which means that everything that is meant to be feared in the community is connected to the culture. What scares people always has the possibility to be done, even if it can be done symbolically.
Sita’s ghost possession symbolizes how female fecundity is significant to the society. A healthy woman is expected to get healthy babies, which secures the future of the community. This signifies that in most cultures, the solidarity of a society is built on women wombs, which can be defined as a metaphor.
Freed, Ruth S, and Stanley A. Freed. Ghosts: Life and Death in North India. Seattle, WA: Univ. of Washington Press, 1993. Print.