Critical Appreciation of The Poem My Grandmother’s House
Write a critical appreciation of My Grandmother’s House.
Joint family system in which old persons were heads has been a reality in India till recent years, especially during the pre-independence period. Many people still recall with nostalgia the love and security they enjoyed in the atmosphere of a joint family household.
In the present poem, Kamala Das, makes the speaker recall her life in the house of her grand mother. When she says the grandmother’s house she means the house in which the old grandmother was the head.
She begins by telling us first that she received love there. Of all the things that she may have got there she lists love as the most precious gift. The implication is that love is getting scarce and scarce. It is openly expressed in the last lines of the poem where the poet speaks of her present condition in which she is begging for love at the doors of the strangers.
Abruptly then the speaker announces the death of the grandmother and the deadly transformation of the house that followed it. The house became silent and turned into an abode of horror where snake started crawling inside it. This leads the speaker to think of better days when she moved about freely and wondered what could be the subject of numerous books on the shelves.
The fascination of the house is still there in the speaker who now wishes to go back there. She feels that even the frozen air of the house will give her some comfort. The physical details of the house are not given. The house is chiefly remembered for the love that the old lady gave to the speaker during childhood. It is this lost love that is a memorable treasure to her. The poem is a strong statement on the values of the joint family in India.