The Widowed Trope



In 2015, an Indian movie named Ennu Ninte Moideen1 (English: Yours Truly, Moideen) was released in Kerala and became a huge hit. Inspired by the true story of Moideen, the son of a Muslim farmer, and Kanchanamala, the daughter of a Hindu landlord, the movie follows their tragic relationship. As they navigate challenges in an ultra-conservative Indian society, the couple of different religions try to fulfill their love. Moideen’s death while trying to save another passenger on a boat trapped in a whirlpool marks the climax of the story. In the end, Kanchanamala leaves her home to live in Moideen’s house as his unmarried widow.

Resembling a Jungian archetype, the trope is nothing original. One similar real-life event is the story of Mary Shelley and Percy Shelley. Percy died in a boating accident in 1822, and like Kanchanamala, Mary chose not to marry again. Albeit for more respectable reasons; she said having been married to a genius, she could not marry a man who wasn’t one.

The Widowed Trope: The Widow (Gender-Neutral) decides not to love again as a sign of true love for their deceased partner.

Here I make the radical claim: this is not love. For if it was, the widow would attempt love again.

1. The Ethical Act

Assume that the Widow and the Deceased were truly in love. In Meaning and Meta Goals2, the meaning of life is to maximize the authentic virtues that define who you are. In that case, it would be unethical to not love after the deceased. For you abstain from practicing a fundamental virtue, therefore ceasing to become yourself in part.

2. Wishes of the Deceased

Furthermore, If they were truly in love, the deceased would want the best for the widow. People often say that the deceased would want the widow to find happiness. However, since happiness is an unethical category, the best would reduce to the ethical. Similar to the above, the deceased would want their widow to find love again.

3. The Harder Choice

Not loving again is often glorified because it is perceived as the difficult choice. Here I claim otherwise: it is precisely the easier choice. Is it more difficult to deal with the pain of losing someone and then opening yourself up to love again, despite the fear of losing the new partner due to the trauma? Or do you hold onto something non-existent, deluding yourself as to avoid the pain of acceptance?

Thus, we have the widowed trope. An archetype that acts unethically, actively against the wishes of the deceased, choosing the easy route. The greatest negation of the virtue of love.

  1. Ennu Ninte Moideen. Wikipedia. Retrieved from
  2. Meaning and Meta-Goals. Niranjan Krishna. (2023, March 7). Retrieved from

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