In the film, the heroine is portrayed as an intelligent woman who writes poetry. Her aesthetic sense of life is captured beautifully throughout the movie; but unfortunately, she becomes relegated to the life of a caged bird in her palatial house.
In the opening sequence of the movie, we see Charulatha moves from one window to other to watch the activities of outside world, using opera glasses. The scene clearly shows how curious and keen she is to know the world beyond the walls of her house. This clearly marks a definite deviation from the concepts of upper-class women in the 19th century and the emergence of a modern woman. The utter lack of sensibility of the elite class towards their women is manifest throughout each thread of the masterly theme that weaves the plot of the story.
Colonial India in the 19th century was trapped in a vicious hub enforced by religious superstitions and social obscurantism. A few Hindu priests, who had mean objectives, exercised an overwhelming influence on the minds of people. Idolatry and polytheism helped to reinforce their position. The British, who established their political control in India by the middle of the 18th century, were a bit reluctant to interfere in the religious and social affairs of the country due to political reasons as they feared antagonism. They estimated that a divided society would pose less threat to their domination. Still, the British influence on Indian society was tremendous. The trend, especially within the elite class, inclined towards an ardent drive for conforming to British norms.