Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies

By Samman Rushdie

Good advice is rarer than rubies is basically about a beautiful girl called Rehana who was forced into an arranged marriage when she was thirteen years old. Her husband traveled to England many years ago, and she is going there to meet him. She travels to the English embassy in Pakistan to get permission to travel to England. Here she meets a guy called Muhammed east-india.jpgAli who claims to be helping women getting in to England, but he is actually just a fraud who sells fake passports to women. Muhammed tries to sell such a passport to help her get in to England, and he also warns her about how hard it will be to get in. In addition to this he tells her that she needs to know every detail of her husband’s life in England to get permission to go there. After a while Miss Rehana refuses to take Muhammeds help, and takes the test. She sits down with Muhammed and tells him of her past. Here she brings up stuff like her arranged marriage, and tell him that she failed the test on purpose. Muhammed Ali didn’t understand this. Rehana loved her life here and never intended or wanted to go meet her husband in England.

Important information about country and culture:
The special incidences of this story are typical for many eastern and muslim countries. The first thing to point out is the way Miss Rehana was the victim of an arranged marriage. Her parents knew they would not be alive long enough to take care of her, and their solution was “handing her out” at the age of nine to a forty-year-old man for her to marry.

Furthermore comes the norm of women wearing veils and fabrics to cover themselves. This illustrates the religion, or suppression as some would say of women in this country. When Miss Rehana was offered advice for money she replied "There are women with male relatives here, all earning good wages", which indicates that the standard family role for them is a male head in charge who earns all the money.

The women who came to the British Embassy wanted to emigrate out of their country both by legal and illegal means. This is caused by push factors belonging to this country. Push factors can be lack of democracy, individual rights, poor economic and social development as well as many other factors.

Theme / Message:
The message of ‘Good advice is rarer than rubies’ is simply to believe in yourself. By having a clever mind and strong will, Miss Rehana got her way. She got what she wanted and purposely failed at her interview in the British embassy. In a society where power is not handed out to most women, Miss Rehana’s act is spectacular. She was a poor maid and the victim of an arranged marriage, but still made her way out of it alone.

The main theme in this short story is what happens when eastern culture confronts western culture. Cultures might success by collaborating, but there is always the chance of the cultures colliding. A collision is portrayed this story.

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