This was just a temper tantrum taken to an extreme. It mght also be his fault he couldn't clean the thing himself.
I'm not sure "just" is the right word. Kid tantrums typically don't involve fire. When most boys get owned by their sisters they just stomp off or tattle.
I think either a chauvinistic household attitude that would inspire that kind of shame-a possibility considering he expected his sister to clean and was outraged when she didn't, or a neurological meltdown. Tragic either way.
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You're absolutely right. The practice is sick. You might consider me an apologist for Christianity (and the Abrahamic religions) but not all religions. In fact the Old Testament is particularly critical of these kinds of sick practices:
As a god worshipped by the Phoenicians and Canaanites, Moloch had associations with a particular kind of propitiatory child sacrifice by parents. Moloch figures in the Book of Deuteronomy and in the Book of Leviticus as a form of idolatry (Leviticus 18:21: "And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Moloch"). In the Hebrew Bible, Gehenna was a valley by Jerusalem, where apostate Israelites and followers of various Baalim and Caananite gods, including Moloch, sacrificed their children by fire (2 Chr. 28:3, 33:6; Jer. 7:31, 19:2–6).
However it is important to note that the practice of Sati didn't become a recognized practice until 400 AD during the Gupta dynasty (possibly the least Hindu Indian dynasty before the Moguls), so it was not originally a part of Hindu practice (and it still is not extremely popular).
"I am the Lorax, and I'll yell and I'll shout for the fine things on earth that are on their way out!"
~Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
"The trouble with Scotland...is that it's full of Scots!"
When dealing with suicide, particularly in a youth, it is often a mistake to tie the act to any action by the deceased in close proximity to the event.
The odds are very good the boy was hovering on the edge of the act for some time. Reading the (skimpy) article, I wonder if he did not cause his sister to flee the area of the house to ensure she was not hurt by the fire.
Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.