A Child Is Born | Heritage Of Words | Written By Germaine Greer


A Child Is Born Summary Interpretation: The child is born is an essay written by Germaine Greer. In this essay, the writer compares the eastern traditional society in terms of marriage, pregnancy, childbearing, and child-rearing.

The writer says that marriage in the west is love marriage whereas it’s arranged in the east. Thus, marriage becomes a private asset in the west but people are forced to marry in the east where the involvement of family occurs. 

After marriage, the couple lives separately in the west but the bride lives with her mother and sister-in-law in the east. Childbearing in the west depends upon the desire of the married couple but, in the east, it is the demand of the family members. 

In the eastern societies, a bride has to do the physical relationship with her husband merely (only) as her duty after marriage. In the east, married women lose their identity and get a new name. When she gives birth to a child, she is addressed as the mother of her newly born child. These are some of the protectable things in eastern traditional society.

But, In the case of pregnancy, the eastern women are highly benefited by the human values conversely, the pregnant women are left alone in the west. She is under intensive medical care. It means that the pregnant woman is bereft of warmth and love. But, in the east, the pregnant woman is often advised, cared, and loved by her family member and kins. Hence, she is comforted and prepared for delivery.

Thus, the pain of pregnancy becomes lesser for them in traditional eastern societies. The children in the east are taken care of jointly and everybody in the family likes to play with the children. Therefore, the women in eastern societies consider childbirth as her victory. But in the west, there wouldn’t be anyone to welcome the newly-born child. The medical support is sometimes ineffective and just hapless (non-lively) with no human values at all.

In the way, the writer gives examples of both societies and points out the defects. Perhaps, she wants to appeal to people to combine the technological help of western society with human values of the east in terms of marriage, pregnancy, childbirth, and child-rearing to get more benefitted.

A child is Born summary  Main Points


1. Child Birth in the west.

a) A pregnant woman is left alone, hospital treatment only.

b) No emotional relief, technical help can be sometimes defective.

c)  Expensive but, not only delivery ceremonies.

2. Childbirth in the east

a) Warm care form the beginning of pregnancy the whole family supports her (pregnant woman).

b) Extensive care by the older and experienced mother/mother-in-law and other ladies.

c) Feeling of pride in being pregnant childbirth is an occasion.

d) Emotionally rich after delivery/ceremony.

e) Safe and cheaper treatment.


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