Strenght of Women in Indian Novels

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THE STRENGHT OF A WOMAN

India has been a country where males have dominated society and oppressed the fairer sex. Only recently have things changed and currently India has its first woman president. This domination has caused women to actually believe that they are indeed inferior to men. It is therefore not surprising to find women content with the subservient life they were forced to lead, like in Mulk Raj Anand’s ‘The Coolie’ where in Munoo’s village, his aunt “…had done the housework herself, untiringly uncomplainingly and quietly.” But in stark contrast, to find women voicing their opinions, or acting against the norms of society does shock the average Indian because examples are few and far between. Interestingly therefore, I was surprised to find that out of nine Indian novels that I read I found women with strong characters in six. The strength of these women can be categorized into three distinct groups with two books under each subdivision. The first category would consist of women with strong will powers, the second would describe women who fought against society and the final category would comprise of women who committed homicide. The first example of undaunted will power is in Sharat Chandra’s ‘Queen’s Gambit’ aka ‘Chandranath’ where the daughter of a widow who eloped with a man is married to a rich village Brahmin, only for the villagers to oppose the union with the husband following suit. He refuses to eat from her “…filthy hands…” Despite being pregnant, the wife quietly walks away from her husband’s life and begins life afresh in the company of an old chess player. She gives birth to a baby boy whose father isn’t present for the first few years of his life. But the father returns and the wife not only forgives him for having deserted them but taunts him for his previous remark of eating her cooking “…will you eat rice from my hands?...” She then goes back to the village to resume the life they once had. Similarly in the 2008 Booker Prize...
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