Money Summary Notes

Money Author

Ranganayakamma is a firebrand writer who is famous for speaking her mind. At a time when even sending a girl out is considered a big thing, a woman coming out as a Marxist and opposing all the preciously valued literature would’ve definitely resulted in numerous gasps. Though she didn’t back off, she continued her whiplash on all the issues that were then settled as rituals and traditions.

Born in 1939, a time when girls are just meant to be in the kitchen and are treated as machines who give birth to children, Raganayakamma caused a stir at every stage of her life. She finished her SSLC in the year 1955 and couldn’t pursue her higher studies as her parents refused to send her to far-off places. Despite getting married in 1958, she came out of it in 1970 and started living with a person who was 10 years younger than her. She even removed the surname ‘Muppala’ which came after her marriage. This resulted in a lot of backlash and eye rolls.

Her writings hold a special place in Telugu literature. She was stamped as a ‘Male offender ’ because of her writings which strongly supported women and opposed patriarchy. She faced a lot of criticism for her Marxist take on Ramayana called “Ramayana Vishavruksham”. Though her writings come across as feisty and rebellious, she is even capable of ironical humor which makes us die laughing. She never backed off from criticizing her fellow writers too. The infamous Telugu writer Vara Vara Rao came down and apologized to her regarding his poem which disregards Transgenders.

Ranganayakamma is an example of a true feminist. She talked about gender equality which was sometimes misinterpreted. Her novel ‘ Janaki Vimukti’ which came as a serial in Andhra Jyoti had to be stopped mid-way because of the critical content. In that novel, she argues that Marxism is the correct path to gender equality. She wrote many pro-feminist novels like Krishnaveni, Sthree, Chaduvukunna Kamala, Krishnaveni, etc. She also translated Karl Marx’s Das Kapital as Marx Capital Parichayam in three volumes. The critical take on Mahabharatha” Idandi Mahabharatham” made her marked as a Brahmin offender too.

She won the Andhra Pradesh Government Sahitya Akademi Award for the novel “Balipeetham” in 1965. However, since she came into contact with Marxism, she started opposing awards, whether governmental or non-governmental Though she laced heavy criticism and even faced legal charges because of her writings and comments she made, she never backed off from opening her mind.

Women like Ranganayakamma are rare to find who makes a strong point despite the criticism they lace. Recently, filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma expressed his respect towards her thoughts and opinions. The main theme of her writings being the depiction of women go her a lot of women following. She never stooped to anything. She opposed even at times when the world opposed her. Women like 1 create history and should definitely be taken as inspiration. They stand as an example for true rebels but with a cause!

‘Money’ is a short story, originally written as ‘Dubbu’ in Telugu i by the well-known Marxist writer Muppula Ranganayakamma and translated into English by N. Usha. It was first published in Andhra Jyothi weekly. ‘Money’ is a scathing satire on the social evil of ‘Dowry’ prevailing in India. The story revolves around a highly- educated v prospective son-in-law who demands a number of one crore rupees as dowry from the bride’s father who himself is a rich man.

The author ironically comments that it isn’t surprising in asking for a large dowry when there are people to give it. She is even more surprised that the rich father-in-law immediately agreed to give away a crore of rupees as dowry. What the author thinks as really surprising is that a ‘well-educated man’ asked for a dowry and she is also surprised by the young educated bride attitude because she agreed to marry and live with a man who married her for money.

Here the author critically comments that ‘education is of no consequence and has no value apart from the mere weight of books.

The prospective son-in-law is in a dilemma as to whether he should take dowry or a share in his prospective father-in-law’s property. He seeks the opinion of his elders about the options. The clever educated man weighs his options cunningly. He asks his prospective father-in-law which option would be of more value. The father-in-law answers that a share in the property would be ten rupees more, but suggested that he should accept the dowry even if it is ten rupees less as it was their tradition to offer dowry.

The son-in-law is not ready to give up even those ten rupees and cleverly asks his father-in-law to better add ten rupees extra and give ‘a crore and ten rupees’ are else he will seek another match. The aggrieved father-in-law reluctantly agrees to all his conditions. The clever son-in-law had strong reasons to accept only cash. He reasons that his wife would inherit the property but the dowry as money would only belong to him.

The marriage is fixed and the father-in-law requests his son-in-law to accept the money in cash and that too in ten- paise coins, preserved in gunny bags in a large shed under lock and key. The son-in-law insists that the keys should be handed over to him immediately so that he could count the money and confirm that he is not short – changed.

Immediately after the wedding ceremony, the bridegroom still in his wedding finery rushed to the shed and started to count the money. By the time he counted the last sack of coins, twenty four years had passed. He found that his father-in-law had short¬changed him by forty paise. He is enraged at having been defrauded by the father-in-law and is about to rush out of the shed when he is confronted by two women an elderly women and a younger woman who seemed to related to each other by their appearance.

The son-in-law recognized the older woman and recalls his marriage with her. He confronts her and accuses her father of cheating him of the dowry money by forty paisa. His wife informs him that her father had passed away five years ago. The son-in¬law accuses him of dying without informing him and wonders who will pay him the forty paise owed to him.

The wife tells him that things had changed during these twenty four years that he had been counting his dowry. She reminds him that whenever she came to meet him he would angrily shoo her away in fear of losing the count. She tells him that she had lost her interest in him and had married a noble person whom she had met and had borne him a daughter who was now twenty-two years old and had completed her graduation. She tells him that when she told her daughter about the story of her life, she had come there to have ‘a glimpse of the ‘odd specimen’ who has been counting money for twenty four years. The mother tells him that if the ‘dowry’ did not bring change in her life, she would also have been ignorant and would have merely thought of giving the money, that her former husband had been counting all these years as dowry to her daughter.

She tells him that she now has realized the evils of this dowry system which she compares to that of the deadly ‘Sati system or imprisonment or suicide’. She explains him that ifher lather had not given him dowry he would have led a normal life and he is yet to realize what he has ‘Lost’ in his life. Since he has now finished counting his money she is happy, so that she could explain everything to him. But the son-in-law seemed to have not realized what life is and still hankers after money. He tells her that he will not be happy unless he recovers the forty paise that was short in his dowry of one crore and ten rupees.

Both the daughter and the mother return, disgusted by the man’s attitude. The daughter thinks that the man is a ‘stubborn idiot’. Her mother tells her that it was her fault to have agreed to live with such a man who demanded money to marry her. The daughter thinks that the man should have realized his fault just like her mother had the mother felt that the man had been ‘punished’ for his deed because he has lost a lifetime. The daughter quotes her own father’s words ‘The problem lies in the accumulation of wealth’ and she agrees with her dead fathers’ words that ‘The entire problem revolves around property’.

The daughter explains her mother that there was a close link between property and dowry. She is ofthe opinion that if daughters’ weren’t discriminated in getting a share of their fathers property the problem of dowry wouldn’t have risen in the society. She says ‘The problem of dowry implies an unjust division of property’. The daughter explains that dowry wouldn’t have become a ‘tradition’ if the parents had given a share of their property to their daughters instead of giving it in the form of‘Dowry’.

The mother thinks that if the daughters did not bother to think about the evils of the dowry system and agree to marry and live with a man who seeks dowry, then many such traditions will develop in society. The daughter disagrees and tells her that nobody would bother about a daughter’s identity because it will lead to discussions of division ofproperty among the children irrespective of their gender.

She adds that if the law prohibits dowry it would then transform itself into ‘property’ transaction, and only the brides who hold property would manage to get married. She further explains that peoples ‘mania’ for money is insatiable, and they do not realize that money cannot buy love and happiness nor would it heal ruptured relationships. At the end of the story the daughter confesses to her mother that she cannot imagine herself loving a man of property nor a man who demands dowry.

The mother looks at her daughter and smiles with satisfaction.

Money Glossary

Substantial    : of considerable substance
Quip              : to remark
Impending    : looming/threatening
Entreat          : to plead with
Pilfer             : to thieve on a small scale
Luster           : brightness / shine
Mercenary    : basely commercial
Gesticulate   : to make signs and gestures with hand and eyes
Adversity      : bad times
Mania           : irrational liking

Money Questions & Answers

Question 1.
What did the prospective son-in-law desire in the story “Money”?
Answer:
The prospective son-in-law desired a dowry of one crore and ten rupees for marrying the bride.

Question 2.
What does the expression ‘Dowry donor’ mean and why is “1 crore as dowry” not a surprise?
Answer:
‘Dowry – donor’ means the father-in-law who is ready to offer dowry of a crore as a dowry. “1 crore as dowry” is not a surprise because there are people who are ready to demand one crore dowry and equally there are people who are ready to give a one crore dowry.

Question 3.
“Education has no value apart from the mere weight” means:
a. Transferring knowledge from books to memory
b. Gathering information
c. Being mere degree-holders sans moral values
Answer:
c. Being mere degree-holders sans moral values

Question 4.
What was the clever gentleman’s advice to the son-in-law?
Answer:
The. clever gentlemen sensed an impending danger when the prospective son-in-law was not ready to forsake even ten rupees in lieu of property, for the sake of tradition. So the clever gentleman advised the prospective son-in-law to take the dowry in cash since it will be only his, but if he takes his dowry as a share in the property of his father-in-law, then his prospective wife would inherit it and it wouldn’t belong to him.

Question 5.
Mention the final deal between the father-in-law and the son-in-law.
Answer:
The father-in-law agreed to give one crore and ten rupees in cash but in ten – paise coins preserved in gunny bags. The son-in-law agreed to his offer.

Question 6.
What did the son-in-law do soon after the wedding ceremony and was he aware of the wheel of time?
Answer:
Immediately after the wedding ceremony, the son-in-law rushed towards the shed where the gunny bags full of coins were kept and started counting the money. No, he was not aware of the wheel of time.

Question 7.
Why was the son-in-law angry with the father-in-law?
Answer:
The son-in-law was angry because his father-in-law had short-changed him by forty paise.

Question 8.
The two women who approached the son-in-law were …….. and ………..
Answer:
mother and daughter

Question 9.
Why did the woman in the story blame herself when she met the groom after a long gap of 24 years?
Answer:
The woman in the story is blamed herself because being educated she was ignorant enough to have agreed to live with a man who demanded money to live with her. She was happy that her parents gave her a large dowry for her sake at that time.

Question 10.
How was the greedy son-in-law punished?
Answer:
The greedy son-in-law had lost twenty – four years of his life counting his dowry and also he had lost his wife, and the forty paise which his father – in law had short-changed him.

Question 11.
Greedy people are obsessed with the calculation of property. True / False
Answer:
True

Question 12.
What, according to the author, is the connection between property and dowry?
Answer:
According to the author, if parents have some property, daughters must get a share of it. But they do not give a share to daughters instead, they discriminate against daughters and give little money in the name of dowry. The problem of dowry implies an unjust division of property and nothing else. When parents have property and divide that among their sons and daughters equally, the ‘dowry’ issue does not come up. Even if the bride’s parents have property, they give it in the form of ‘dowry’ to their daughters and so it has become a custom. Those who do not have property also follow the tradition of giving dowry.

Question 13.
The mania for money cannot buy _______ and _________
Answer:
love and happiness

Question 14.
In reality, the dowry problem is a _________
Answer:
“property problem”.

Question 15.
What, according to the wife, was her husband’s loss?
Answer:
According to the wife, the husband had lost twenty-four years or one-third of his life counting his dowry money. He has lost a lifetime. If he had not spent all those years counting the money he would have led a happy married life. He would have been blessed with children and enjoyed seeing them growing up. He would have led a normal life similar to other men. He had lost his wife’s love to another man. He had wasted his life counting money instead of living life.

Question 16.
Describe the meeting between the son-in-law, and his wife, and the wife’s daughter.
Answer:
When the wife and the wife’s daughter went to meet the son-in-law after twenty-four years he had counted the last stack of money and was shivering with rage as he had been short-changed by forty paise. As he jumped up from his seat and turned around he saw two women, an elderly woman and a young woman who resembled her mother. The son-in-law recognizes her as the wife he had married but refuses to live with her. When the elderly women wants to know the reason, he asks her to call her father because he had cheated him of his dowry money. He explains that his father-in-law had cheated him by short-changing him by forty paise. The wife informs him that he had passed away five years ago.

The son-in-law ironically accuses that his father-in-law had died without even informing him and asks her who would pay the rest of the money owed to him. The elderly lady then narrates that things have changed without his knowledge while he was immersed in counting his money. She tells him that she often came there to meet him but he would send her away because he would lose count. She informs him that she had met a noble person and married him and had given birth to a girl child. Whenever she approached him to communicate it to him he would angrily shoo her away fearing he would lose count of the money. So she had decided to wait until he had counted his money.

Now twenty – four years had elasped and still he did not seem to have realized that he had ‘lost’ a lifetime counting money. But the man adamantly insists that he should be reimbursed the forty paise owed to him. Both the women and her daughter are disgusted with the man’s behaviour and leave the place.

Question 17.
The greedy son-in-law in the story holds a mirror to the modern grooms who demand dowry. Discuss.
Answer:
In the short story, ‘Money’ by Muppala Ranganayakamma the prospective son-in-law demands one crore rupees as a dowry. The prospective father-in-law agrees to give it. But the son-in-law was in a dilemma, whether he should take a dowry or a share in the property of his father-in-law. After much consultations, the bride-groom decides to accept a dowry of one crore and ten rupees or look for another match. The father-in-law agrees and the alliance is fixed. The father-in-law cleverly persuades the son-in-law to accept the dowry of One crore and ten rupees in. the form of ten paise coins. Immediately after the wedding ceremony, the newly-wed bridegroom rushes to where the money was stashed and starts to count the money in fear of being short-changed. He goes on counting the money for twenty – four years and finds that he had been short-changed by forty paise.

He is enraged and decides to teach his father-in-law a lesson but he does not realize that the man had passed away and his wedded wife had deserted him and married another man. His wife’s daughter was now twenty years old. He had ‘lost’ living a life hankering after money although it was ill-gotten. Yet he doesn’t realize it and still demands to be reimbursed with the forty paise with interest.

Modem grooms who are highly educated also hanker after money in the form of dowry. They want to get rich instantly without striving for it. Hence the story of the greedy son-in-law holds a mirror to the modem grooms who demand dowry.

Question 18.
Explain the theme of Money versus Relationships as evident in the story.
Answer:
The storyteller deals with the theme of money versus relationship in the story. The prospective son-in-law in the story demands a number of one crore rupees as dowry from his ‘ prospective father-in-law to live with his daughter. After much discussion, the son-in-law realizes that taking a share in property fetches him ten rupees more. But the clever father-in-law convinces him to accept the dowry in the form of money because the property would be inherited by his wife and if he accepted the money it would be only his. The bride’s father then agrees to give the dowry in the form of ten paise coins preserved in gunny bags. Immediately after the wedding ceremony, the bridegroom, in his wedding finery, rushes to wads the shed where the gunny bags fill of ten paise coins had been kept and starts to count them.

The greedy bridge-groom goes on counting the coins and eventually finishes counting them, ignorant of the feet that twenty – four years had passed and the meanwhile his wife had married another man and had a daughter who was now twenty – two years old. His father-in-law had also passed away while he was engrossed in counting. He had flitted away one-third of his lifetime giving only importance to money and disregarded his married fife. The irony is that the greedy son-in-law had given more importance to money rather than leading a happy and contented life with his wife. The writer has effectively presented the theme of money versus relationship.

Question 19.
The short story, “Money’ highlights the social evil “Dowry System” that degenerates moral values. Discuss.
Answer:
In the short story, ‘Money’ by Muppala Ranganayakamma the prospective son-in-law demands one crore rupees as a dowry. The prospective father-in-law agrees to give it. But the son – in¬law was in a dilemma, whether he should take a dowry or a share in a dilemma, whether he should take a dowry or a share in the property of his father-in-law. After much consultation, the bride-groom decides to accept a dowry of one crore and ten rupees or look for another match.

The father-in-law agrees and the alliance is fixed, The father-in-law cleverly persuades the son-in-law to accept the dowry of One crore and ten rupees in the form of ten paise coins. Immediately after the wedding ceremony, the newly-wed bridegroom rushes to where the money was stashed and starts to count the money in fear of being short-changed. He goes on counting the money for twenty – four years and finds that he had been short-changed by forty paise. He is enraged and decides to teach his lather-in-law a lesson but he does not realize that the man had passed away and his wedded wife and deserted him and married another man. His wife’s daughter was now twenty years.

He has ‘lost’ living a life hankering after money although it was ill-gotten. Yet he doesn’t realize it and still demands to be reimbursed with the forty paise with interest. Modem games that are highly educated also hanker after money in the form of dowry. They want to get rich instantly without striving for it.

Question 20.
How does the story bring out the idea that excessive obsession with anything is unhealthy?
Answer:
Refer Essay type question Q.No. 2 Greedy people have an obsession with money. They do not realize that this mania for money cannot buy love are happiness. It cannot heal a ruptured relationship nor build meaning into life.

LANGUAGE ACTIVITY

CLAUSES

Exercises:
Fill in the blanks with suitable clauses :
Question 1.
He confessed that _____________
Answer:
that he was guilty

Question 2.
He bought the bike _____________
Answer:
with his hard-earned money

Question 3.
The truth is that _______________
Answer:
life is hard and dangerous

Question 4.
He spoke __________
Answer:
the truth

Question 5.
Iam sure that ____________
Answer:
he said so

Question 6.
I am worried _________
Answer:
about you

Question 7.
I do not know ___________
Answer:
Where I kept my bag

Queston 8.
They fought ___________
Answer:
like cats and dogs

Question 9.
The police cadght the thief ____________
Answer:
red handed

Question 10.
The Principal announced ___________
Answer:
the exam results

English Summary

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