Women’s Quest for Fulfillment in Patriarchal Peripheries: Study of Shashi Deshpande’s the Binding Vine

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Women’s Quest for Fulfillment in Patriarchal Peripheries: Study of Shashi Deshpande’s The Binding Vine

Shashi Deshpande is a writer who tries to universalize feminine perspectives by drawing comparisons among different types of women. This statement can be justified to some extent by her novel The Binding Vine. Like all feminist literary artists, a sustained analysis of allusive and elusive expression of individual is imperative for Shashi Deshpande. In her own words, her purely subjective novels ‘depend upon a private vision’. This private vision possesses extreme situations arising out of a conflict between the will and the reality evolving around the ‘self’. Her protagonists, therefore, are essentially confronted with the stupendous task of defining their relation to themselves and to their immediate human context. Her central characters, by and large, have strange childhood from which they develop a negative self-image and aversion. The immediate result is their fragmented psyche to view this world as a hostile place. The Binding Vine projects two central issues of female bonding and resistance to patriarchal ideology. The pain of the death of her baby-daughter, Anusha, seems to motivate Urmila, the central character, to reach out to other women around her who have their own tales of suffering to tell. In suffering, a unique sense of fellowship is forged, not only with the living but also with the mute 2

and the dead. Urmila is drawn, in sympathy, to Shakutai and her young daughter Kalpana, who is brutally raped and is lying unconscious, and Mira, her own dead mother-in-law who suffered rape in marriage. The healing process which begins by reading Mira’s poems continues when Urmi accidentally meets Shakutai in the hospital. Shakutai’s eldest daughter Kalpana is brought to the hospital after she is brutally beaten up and raped. Urmi feels compelled to help Shakutai, to listen to her, to keep her company. Shakutai’s fear reveals the paranoiac fear of a...
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