Do you agree that the poet in the poem The Bangle Sellers is limiting the role of Indian women to the traditional ones desired by the society?
Sarojini Naidu’s poem ‘The Bangle Sellers’ deals with different stages of women’s life and their roles in a typical Indian society. This comes out of the poet’s love for the native culture and tradition, as we see it in Naidu’s other poems too. She seems to typecast the conventional roles of women as ‘happy daughters and happy wives’. She is happy to see them to get married, to bring up children with love and care, to serve the household and ‘worship the gods’ at husband’s side, indicating their loyalty to their husband and family.
Though the title suggests that the poem has something to do with the bangle sellers, the main concern has actually been the celebration of womanhood and how women are crucial to a happy family. The expressions like ‘radiant lives’, ‘hue of her heart’s desire’, ‘bridal laughter and bridal tear’, ‘hands have cherished’, ‘love has blest’, ‘faithful breast’ and ‘fruitful pride’ — all convey the feelings and emotions of Indian women and this seems to be the poet’s approval of the way the women play their role in the society. The poem is an expression of her belief that the traditional norms of society are good enough to maintain its stability. So I think, it won’t be wrong to say that the poem is typecasting the Indian women in limiting them to the traditional roles bound by the societal norms, though that may not be what the poet explicitly or even consciously wants to mean.