Social picture of rural Bengal in Tree without Roots


Tree Without Roots is a remarkable work by Syed Waliullah (1922-1971) in which he portrayed rural settings. His depiction of rural illiterate people, their poverty, religious superstition, male domination, and early marriage give a proper representation of traditional rural society. 

More Notes: Tree Without Roots


The people of Mohabbatpur lead a very simple life. There is no school in this village. They suffer from illiteracy. They only go to Maktab and learn the Quran. They just memorize it. No one even knows the meaning of any word of it. Their illiteracy brings other problems to their lives. 

Majeed takes advantage of their illiteracy. He targets these people and creates his own dominion over them. Due to a lack of education, the villagers fail to understand Majeed’s treachery. Even when Akkas offers a proposal to build a school in the village, he cunningly insults him with irrelevant questions. 

“Where is your beard, Mian?”


The novelist describes the poverty of the village people. They don’t have enough food. They struggle to survive in poverty. Majeed comes to this village in search of food and shelter. 

Religious Superstitions:

Through this novel, the novelist tries to show the superstitions of rural Bengal people. The villagers believe in religion, but don’t have enough knowledge about it. A famous quotation from Waliullah,

“There are more tupees than heads of cattle ,more tupees than sheaves of grass”,

Majeed takes advantage of their religious blindness. He entraps them using religion and the people blindly believe him. In the name of religion, he starts to exploit them. He establishes a Mazar and says,

“You have earned God’s gratitude,”

He becomes successful to gain worldly affairs and pleasure. He uses religion as an investment. This shrewd man imposes his own generated thoughts on the ignorant village people. He also takes revenge on those who go against him. 

The villagers get treatment from the Pir rather than going to a doctor. They believe in Mazar and its spiritual power. They seek help from the Pir with any kind of problem. 

Male Dominating Society:

The society depicted in this novel is completely dominated by men. Women are like lifeless objects. They are neglected in every sphere of life. They are treated like servants to the men. It is established that women are born to be slaves of men and please God. No one cares about their feelings or emotions. 

Child Marriage and Polygamy:

Child marriage is a common picture in rural areas. Waliullah shows this social issue through the marriage of Jamila and Majeed. Jamila is a very young girl. She gets married to a man of middle age.

Jamila is the second wife of Majeed. He marries her because his first wife is unable to give birth to a child. 


From the above-mentioned description, it can be said that Syed Waliullah shows the rural society of Bangladesh through his all characters and settings. 

Rashedul Islam
Rashedul Islam

Hi, This is Rashedul. Researcher and lecturer of English literature and Linguistics.

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