Analysis of Anne Ranasinghe’s Poem Sati

Analysis of Anne Ranasinghe’s Poem Sati

The Indian traditional ritual Sati Pooja. A Hindu custom in which the young wife of a very old dead husband leaps into his pyre and commits suicide. Usually she is forced by her in laws to do so.

The woman in Indian society is treated with the utmost cruelty and inhumanity.

Conventional Hindu customs which are beyond humanity
Brutal customs still exist even in the civilized society.

Appropriate words and phrases:
dressed in rich attire
draped in white flowers
bearded Brahmins
brandish sword and shield

simple and descriptive with ornate wording


The poem, Sati by Ann Ranasinhe describes a sati pooja which was a very barbarian custom that existed in India. It was a custom in India that a very old man marries a teenage girl and when the husband dies the wife has to jump into the pyre and burn herself.

In this poem the wife is a beautiful young princess who is victimized to Sathi pooja. At the end the ashes of both bodies are thrown into the river ritually. Some of the ash is mixed with new rice and eaten by twelve Brahmins ceremoniously. It is the most disgusting phase of the ritual.

This poem describes a very inhuman funeral ritual of Hindu culture in India. It describes how a very young beautiful princess is richly and ornately dressed and taken to the pyre of her dead husband in a palanquin. The wonder is it is her own relatives and friends who celebrate this abhorrent occasion ceremonially. They seem to consider this a noble
occasion and a religious ceremony. The most disgusting thing is that the Brahmins are offered milk rice mixed with the ash of the dead and burnt at the end.

Actually, this is not a religious ritual but a criminal act, murder. As from the ancient history of India it is apparent that it is Brahmins who changed the religion so as to suit their opportunist brutal needs. It is a relief that this custom was legally banned by the British government declaring it a punishable offence. Yet, it is a regretful fact that even today such
occasions are reported even rarely as acts of conventional , brutal people who are blinded with baseless faith.

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