The Dark Room Essay, Research Paper
In the quiet town of Malgudi, in the 1930’s, there lived Savitri and her husband, Ramani. They lived with their three children,
Babu, Kamala, and Sumati. Savitri was raised with certain traditional values which came into internal conflict when she took
Ramani, a modern executive, as her husband.
Savitri has endured a lot of humiliations from her temperamental husband and she always puts up with his many tantrums.
To find solace and escapism, she takes refuge in ‘the dark room’, a musty, unlit, store room in the house.
But when Ramani takes on a beautiful new employer, Savitri finds out that her husband has more than a professional
interest in the woman. So, at first, she tries to retreat to her dark room. But she realises that hiding in there won’t help. So
she tries to leave the house. She stayed with a friend in another village. But after staying there for some time, she can’t help
but think of her husband and their children. What would happen to them?
After doing a lot of thinking, she finally decides to go back home. In the end, Ramani has finally stopped seeing Shanta Bai,
the other woman, and I guess you could say it’s a happy ending. It’s now up to you to go and guess the rest.
Savitri is very much real. She is basically quite like most people. They treat problems like that. They find ways to escape it.
Like booze, drugs, suicide, etc. In Savitri’s case, she stays in the dark room, and finally, leaves her family.
As I was reading “The Dark Room”, I felt compassion towards Savitri. I can clearly see that she was a confused woman. It
was depicted through the first part of the story wherein her son was ill and she told Babu, her son, not to go to school that
day. But Ramani intruded upon them and said that Babu has to go to school and that his illness is merely a headache.
Savitri didn’t know what to do then. She was concerned for Babu’s health, but at the same time, she didn’t want to argue
with Ramani. In the end, Babu had gone off to school. As for Ramani, I felt like shouting at him while reading the novel
because of his bullying. But he left me amused at one part when he was trying to impress Shanta Bai by making it look as if
it’s an honor for her to work for the company.
After reading the novel, I can now say that I think I know how to handle my problems. Not by hiding, as what Savitri did in the
first place, but by confronting the problem itself. Through this novel, I realised that our problems do not solve themselves
when we escape them. Instead, it might become worse.
For the Indians, men are considered highly superior than women. Men are always given the freedom to do anything they
want. They can have mistresses, marry more than one wife, they can order their wives about, etc. Even though it is their
culture or their way of living to do just that, I think that it is very unethical. Marriage is for life. It is a commitment made to a
lifetime partner. And listen to this: if they do not honour their marriage vows, why is it that men can take other women to
bed, but women cannot take other men to theirs? It is all very funny but also strange and quite unfair in some ways.
“The Dark Room” not only made me think, but it also entertained me. Life is indeed unfair but if you look at it closely, it really
depends on the outlook. We must try to live with it and not fight or contradict it. And that those who suffer in life will deserve
the happiness that they strive for later on. Remember that life is like a wheel. It doesn’t stay up forever, nor does it also stay
Even though the novel entertained me, it still made me mad. Why are women always thought of as weak and passive? Men
always make the mistake of thinking that just because women cannot see the sense in violence, they are already considered
as passive creatures. I say it’s not true. In one important way, at least, men are the passive sex. If you give them a choice,
they will always opt for the status quo. They hate change of any kind, and they fight against it constantly. On the other hand,
what women want is just stability, which when you stop to think about it is a different animal.