The problem of forcing girls to marry old rich men from an early age is prevalent in some remote places. When girls are forced into marriage, this poses a lot of problems. We are going to tackle this social problem in relation to a short story. In it, Fathers often prevent their daughters to finish their studies. Instead, they force their girls into marriage. This is a social phenomenon that needs to be discussed.
Case of girls forced to marry rich old men
A girl has dropped out of school; her parents and her family obliged her to quit school. This is due to both her family’s ignorance and severe customs. These customs stipulate preventing girls from school as necessary to preserve the so-called chastity. She was obliged to do housework, but her dream was to finish her studies. The same goes for her mother, for she always woke up at 5:00 am doing all of the housework. When she was thirteen years old, her father obliges her to marry an old man; she kinds refused, but her father obliged her.She bows her head in dismay and says, “O my dear father, you have prevented me from school; now you drag me by force to give my hand away to an old man whom I do not desire”. In fact, her father stroke her harshly and slapped her on her face for showing a sign of disobedience; her mother intervened to settle the dispute, but she got beaten. The other day, when the old man came to take her hand away, she committed suicide by hanging.
Education versus marriage from an early age
Suicide is not an easy decision that anyone can take. It is a situation where one’s spirit is constrained and suppressed. The girl decided to commit suicide because she was stripped of her dreams and obliged to marry an old rich man. Here, the father is a symbol of oppression. This oppression stems from the fear of losing her daughter’s chastity.
On the other hand, he preferred to give her daughter’s hand away to an old man than to a young man. This is to the fact that he is poor, and he wants to guarantee her future and his. An old rich man usually dies after a couple of years. Then, his daughter will have an estate. This economic drive for such a parental decision is so destructive to an innocent girl, who has a lot of dreams to accomplish.
In fact, the dialogue sparked between the father and his daughter shows the degree of father’s stubbornness. This resistance to dialogue can be traced back to societal norms. In some remote places in Arab countries, there are forms of customs that still prevent women from expressing themselves. However, Amazigh women express themselves through poetry and singing. This attachment to poetry is where they find emancipation and liberation, not in suicide.
Indeed, we have shown the theme of suicide in the form of a short story. Therefore, this story is similar to millions of stories happening every day in our environment. Forcing girls into marriage is a crime. Although this is rare in western countries, it is common in most poor countries. In fact, Egypt is an example.