could the story be classsified as a piece of social commentary? Is the author implying about moral guilt?

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Any piece of literature could have a social commentary reading because literature is made up of characters/people who live in a set of social circumstances that very likely play a huge role in the way they live their lives. In this story, Tacha and her family live in a very poor rural village and are watching as a torrential flood literally ruins everything in its path. The social commentary piece comes in in regards to Tacha's future, which her father sees as having literally been washed away now that the family cow has drowned and the calf is missing. This poor family's best hope to keep Tacha from a sinful life of prostitution like her older sisters was toraise this cow and eventually use it as her dowry in the hopes of securing a good marriage for her. With the cow gone, the family has nothing else of value to offer in the marriage, so her prospects have gone down significantly. This is a commentary on the poverty of the family and the customs of the people of this community. That everything should rest on a cow/dowry! Another aspect of this is the abject poverty of the family in that the cow is their only asset of value. It is also interesting that if she doesn't marry it is assumed that all she will end up doing is becoming a prostitute like her sisters before her. That says something about the circumstances of the lives and their environment. The story isn't about moral guilt directly, but the mother's continued heartbreak over the older daughter's sinful choices is a key component to the story and the vision of they have Tacha.

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