FEMINISM IN THE NOVELS OF KAMLA MARKANDYA AND SHASHI DESHPANDE COMPARATIVE STUDY
PURPOSE OF STUDY The present research is a modest effort to explore the similarities and dissimilarities by the point of feminism in the novels of Kamla Markandya and Shashi Despande. The topic entitled -Feminism in the novels of Kamla Markandaya and Shashi Deshpande of Comparative Study-, tries to show the point of view of the both novelists on feminism. It focuses on the situation and experiences of the modern, educated, urban, middle class Indian women, which are filtered through the hopes, fears and uncertainties of an urban, middle class consciousness. The woman suffers, but the also endures the emotional world, which is consequent upon being the kind of person she is the novels of both the novelists mirror the different faces of feminism. The novelists are always in favour of theatrical representation of women’s condition. CHAPTER-1 FEMINISM The meaning of the word -Feminism- according to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary is the belief and aim that women should have the same rights and opportunities as men; the struggle to achieve this aim. Feminists agree that women, like men should also have the freedom. They argue for the existence of a female she exits as a human being with an individuality, honor and dignity. Those having a feminist consciousness assert the need of realization of their individuality (identity) and don’t hesitate to talk out the periphery of women’s lives. Development of feminine virtues with female nature and carrying out the responsibilities associated with the domestic affairs are considered as the only aim for the women. Patriarchal society considers women as physically weak to venture into the world outside the four walls of their houses and to deficient to make important decisions. Hence, women are relegated to the domestic sphere where they have to accept the hegemony of a male counterpart. Since ages it is considered that it is a woman’s duty to house, raise children and give comfort to her family. There is no discrimination in suppressing the females in 19th century and 21st century. Still they are deprived of all those pleasures which are the prerogatives of males. They are subjected to drudgery and lead the life of a captive. Tennyson, the representative poet of the Victorian age, keeps a wedge between the two sexes either of which was supposedly designed by God for a particular function and was endowed accordingly when he comments- Man for the field and woman for the hearth Man for the sword and for the needle she Man to command and woman to obey All else confusion. Similar differences between the two genders can be applied even today without any objection. CHEPTER-2 BOLD AND COURAGEOUS WOMEN The second chapter of thesis deals a lot of confident and bold women these who don’t yield before the male hegemony. They are aware about their honor and dignity. They know very well that they should have the same rights and opportunities as men. As we see in the novel -The Dark Holds No Terror- (1980), Sarita emerged as a woman of determination and positive attitude, though she had seen the whole women world suffering without any cause. She was so bold that she got married with the boy who did not have bright prospects in career, without consulting her parents. In the same way we find Lalitha in -Two Virgin- (1973). She ran away with a film producer and became pregnant but she does not feel any quilt by being an unmarried mother. She has no worried about society or its comment. She makes an abortion and again runs she makes an abortion and again runs away. In -Nectar In A Sieve-. (1954) we see Rukmani’s courage, determination, resourcefulness, and her patient acceptance of her lot, were all displayed during the days of misfortune which soon followed. Rukmani is so courageous that she opposes the intrusion of modernity, industrialism and city upon the village and its tradition. She thinks that the tannery ruins the beautiful country side. -The Binding Vine- (1993) presents the tragedies of three women of very different backgrounds are inter woven. The novel shows how they struggle in their lives for their identity. CHAPTER-3 DEFY OF INDIAN TRADITION Kamla Markandaya’s novels, in comparison with those of her contemporary women writers, seem to be more fully reflective of the awakened feminine sensibility in modern India as she attempts to project the image of the changing traditional society. In her novel, -Two Virgin-(1973) she depicts the traditional rural world of Saroja and Lalitha. The placid rhythm of their existence is broken into by Mr. Gupta, a film producer, who comes from the big city. Lalitha runs away with him and became pregnant. After making abortion she again runs away by doing such deeds Lalitha defies the Indian tradition. In -The Dark Holds No Terror- (1980) Sarita defies the Indian tradition by marrying with a boy without consulting her parents. After all she was alone, almost an orphan in spite of having both parents alive. In -Some Inner Fury-(1956) Mira, the daughter of a rich Indian family and Ira in Nectar In a sieve (1954) are also defy the Indian tradition. Ira sells her body to feed kuti. She gives birth to an illegal son. It’s a great defy to Indian society and for its tradition and customs. In -A Handful of Rice-(1966) Jayamma’s sudden relation with Ravi sexual intercourse is quite unexpected. These all the deeds are against the Indian tradition. The women of these novel don’t bind themselves into the walls of kind of caste creed and customs, race and religion. If we see in -Small Remedies- (2000) of Shashi Deshpande, Savitribai Inderkar’s rebellious act to break away from her family for her love of music is not an isolated, whimsical, individual decision, The protagonists biographer Madhu exercises her choices, rejects her husband is essentialist approach and reconstructs her -self’. Thus, we see these female characters try to live life on their own terms, resisting its vagaries with story silences, balanced self assertion and immersion in the arts. CHAPTER-4 WOMEN’S INNER URGE FOR THEIR IDENTITY This chapter deals with women’s inner urge to be recognized as a human being in this male dominated society. They are highly conscious about their identity. They don’t want to be happy with a mere a wife and a mother. In -That Log Silence- Jaya is the embodiment of a woman who has a inner urge. Jaya had dreamt like other girls of her age that there would be love and romance after marriage as she had seen the films of Raj Kapoor and Nergis, carry grant and Deborah Kerr. She had imagined that her husband would be a handsome Youngman and would say to her -I Love You’. It shows her inner urge far sex. In -Nectar In A Sieve (1954) Rukmani’s inner urge for giving birth to a son. When she gives birth to a female child, named Ira her husband Nathan does not become happy because he wanted a son. So once Rukmani goes to Kenny for treatment and consequently gives birth to her first son after Ira has reached the age of seven. When the same condition repeats with Ira, Rukmani takes help of Kenny again. In the same way we see in -Roots and Shadow- that Indu hopes to find a sense of fulfillment in her relation ship with Jayant. Thus the essential woman can not be unraveled independent of the forces that generate it, but from within the very constructs that fashion it, the confluence of forces from which subjectivities emerge. Mini like most women, grows up believing in predestined marriages beyond individual choices. In -Two Virgin-(1973) we see Saroja the sister of Lalitha. She is the girl of Indian tradition but she has a great inner urge for her own identity like her sister Lalitha. In -The Drk Holds No Terrar (1980) it’s the inner urge of Sarita that she wanted the equal rights like her brother, Dhruva but her mother had never given her so much value. The novelists being women such a choice not only give her feminize sensibility fictional expression but also ennobles her to highlight the role of women in the present day society. CHAPTER-5 IMPACT OF INDIAN TRADITION In this chapter we find that inspite of being educated and conscious women, yet they have a strong impact of Indian Tradition of their lives. They are happy with the tradition and customs they don’t want to come out of from this. They feel that a husband is very necessary far a woman to live in the society. They thinks that a husband is a sheltering tree for them and he is all in all for then. As we see Jaya in -That Long Silence-, is an example of the women who have no choice but to submit to be led by their husbands like Sita and Draupadi of yesteryears to the forests and jungles, and in the mire of infamy and deserted finally. In the reference of Rukmani in -Nectar In a Sieve-(1954) we see that in spite of being the daughter of the village headman, she is married to Nathan, a poor tenant farmer in a south Indian village. Rukmani have to face a lots of problems after her marriage, cause of poverty but she never loose her patience and remain with her husband in all the situation like the great Sita of -Treta yug-. The same things we see in Roots and Shadows that Indu gives up the financial freedom of her job as a journalist and decides to do what she could do best, writing, even though it meant an uncertain future and perhaps a risk of lapsing back into a dependent status on her husband. One can not assume that patriarchy means the same thing for all women. In -Two Virgin'(1973), there are two sisters- Lalitha and Saroja. Saroja is the younger sister. She is conscious about her tradition. Although Lalitha loves glamour but Saroja is a simple girl. She never do the Shameful act like her sister. It is a glimpse of Indian tradition in her personality. CHAPTER-6 THE ROLE OF SOCIETY The chapter deals the role of society as a major force to control women’s identity. Society does not allow a woman moves freely. It doesn’t impart equality with women. It has duplicity in its norms. The duplicity of the social norms is the genesis of the tragic dilemma and ghastliness in the life of a female. Both the novelists have beautifully shown the role of society. According to them the society is the victim that makes a woman victim. As we see Rukmani and Ira in Nectar In A Sieve; Saroja and Lalitha in -Two Virgin’, Jaya in that log silence, Sarita in -the Dark Holds No Terror’ and a lots of female characters of both the written are victimized and flirted by the society. A male chauvinist is as much a victim of hedonistic pursuit as a female. The morality code is prescribed by the man for their convenience. This male world puts the label of an adulterous on the woman if there grounds any feature of the slightest departure from the accepted and unflinching code of morality. In these circumstances the relations as marriage becomes a trap, an instrument of suppression and torment for women for want of love, involvement, communication and respect to each other’s individuality. Life becomes a play of shame and sorrow when a female is emotionally wounded by a male. In an orthodox society the role of a person other than her husband is tantamount to violation of the accepted norms of morality. A woman becomes a victim of this split between pronounced value and actual value.
CHAPTER-7 CONCLUSION In spite of being a democratic world females have to face many problems in getting feminism. They haven’t got the equality to men even now. Being tortured they can’t say something but they tolerate the miseries of thir lives silently. As we see the condition of Rukmani in the novel Nectar in a Sieve of Kamla Markandaya. Just like Rukmani, Sarita have to face many problems in the life inspite of being innocent in the novel the Dark Holds No Terror of Shashi Deshpande. There are many female characters are portrayed by the both novelists, as Ira, Jaya, Lalitha, Jayamma, Irri-Urmi, Vanna- Mandira etc. Deshpande examines lives of half a dozen women to become hysterics, escapists, sacrificial goats and what compels them to be silent, drives them to commit suicide or to death. BIBLIOGRAPHY A.PRIMARY SOURCES A.I NOVELS BY KAMLA MARKANDAYA 1.Nector In a Sieve (1954):Mumbai, Jaica Publishing House, 2003. 2.A Handful of Rice (1966):New Delhi, Orient Paper Backs Pvt. Ltd (Ist Edt. 1985) 3.Two Virgin (1973) :Lucknow, New Prints Man, 2002 4.Some Inner Fury (1956) 5.A Silence of Desire (1960) 5.Possession (1963) 6.The Caffer Dams (1969) 7.The No Where Man (1972) 8.The Golden Honey Comb (1977)
A.II NOVELS BY SHASHI DESHPANDE 1.The Dark Holds No Terror:Penguin Books Ltd. 2.That Long Silence :Penguin Books Ltd., 1989 3.The Binding Vine :Penguin Books Ltd., 1993 4.Small Remedies :Penguin Books India, 2000 5.A matter of Time :Penguin Books India, 1996 6.The Narayanpur Incident:Puffin Books First Published By Penguin Books India, 1995 7.Roots and Shadows 8.It a Die Today 9come Up and BeDead 10.Moving on (2000)
B.SECONDARY SOURCES 1.Writing Difference the Novel:Chanchala K. Naik Delhi, of Shashi Deshpande Pencraft International, 2005 2.Journal :Bijay Kumar Das New Delhi, Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, 1999 3.Research Journal :Bapsi Sidhwa’s- -The Pakistani Bride’ : A Saga of Female oppression (A Pakistani perspective) -Singh, Shweta -Agarwal, Malti.