Life is Just an Experience of Reality: Shashi Deshpande’s Illustration on The Dark Holds No Terrors
The traditions, culture and society in India have given precedence to men over women in multitude of issues concerning family, administration, decision-making and several other matters of high magnitude. This gender bias has gradually taken a shape as male chauvinism, which resulted in the oppression of women and subjected them to insufferable physical, psychological, moral and ethical castigation. Women, albeit contribute equally with men in societal and domestic affairs, are not allowed to enjoy equal status with men in traditional India. Indian society has always manifested them as obedient daughters, dedicated mothers, devoted wives and loving siblings. The funniest thing in Indian culture is a mother, being a woman, alienates her daughter and manifests antagonism to her, if she makes attempts to question gender-bias in her family or in society. The novel is an impeccable manifestation of post colonial period where a woman is fighting for her constitutional rights for education and power. The female protagonist Saritha in the novel acquires good education and becomes a doctor despite her mother’s antipathy to girl education. She sustains her mother’s antagonism to her who perpetually maltreats her with her offhand attitude to her very existence in the family as she wrongly concludes her as the murderess of her dear brother, Dhruva. Further, she is estranged from her family as she marries a person of her choice. Her husband, Manohar is a school teacher. Saritha, being a doctor, achieves a quick identity in the society which is quite distasteful and unendurable to Manohar. Consequently he develops inferiority complex and starts humiliating her. She realizes that her professional success has made hers an ill-starred marriage. She decides not to be a victim of her husband’s sadism. Her introspective thinking fills her mind with abundant strength to move ahead in her life. The article delineates Shashi Deshpande’s powerful portrayal of a woman, who undauntedly fights with the world that gives no countenance to her aspirations, and proves her identity by being independent and self-reliant.
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