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There is a specific feeling of helplessness that would have emerged in seeing the effect of the sting on the mother. Death was not instantaneous. It took a long period of time, with villagers crowded around, chanting and reciting verses that will allow the woman's soul to pass into some type of liberating state. The father is also gripped by this feeling of helplessness watching the woman he loves slip away from him. I can only imagine that the child witnessing this would not know what to make of it. There would be some concrete sensations present, though. There is a sense of anxiety that could be perceived in the child's perception as well as this feeling that someone they love is going to be leaving them. This would be where the feeling of helplessness enters and becomes a predominant experience imprinted on the child's mind.
There are four major aspects of the evening that seem to leave an indelible impact on the child's mind. The first is the sting of the scorpion itself: a distressing but inevitable consequence of living among the natural world. The second and perhaps even more traumatic impact, I think, is from the superstition of the neighbors, as well the sheer fact that there is a crowd of them. This is an Indian reality: with one of the largest populations in the world, and still largely traditional and conservative, many of these phenomena are seen as either retribution for past sins or a balancing out of future happiness. The image of the mother writhing in pain with the villagers sitting around her in peace is somewhat frightening. The father seems to be a voice of reason, albeit a gruff and blunt one. The final image the poet leaves the reader with is the microcosm of filial relationships in Indian society, and even more so, the cultural and social status of Indian women. All the mother has to say at the end is that she is glad that the scorpion bit her and spared her children -- which is at the same time a great affirmation of love and devotion to her children and a typical show of self sacrifice that seems to be such an intrinsic part of Indian womanhood.
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