The IUP Journal of English Studies
Female Space, Subjugation, and Identity Crisis in Rama Mehta's Inside the Haveli and Manju Kapur's Difficult Daughters

Article Details
Pub. Date : June, 2020
Product Name : The IUP Journal of English Studies
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJES32020
Author Name : Niraja Saraswat
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 09



Few institutions challenge more deeply our ethos of individual freedom and equality than that of Purdah and Marriage-the separation of women from all men except their husbands and brothers, and sequestering them in women's compound of gendered mansions. Marriage is often seen as the identity symbol for women, and getting settled in husband's home is the only bliss that women are supposed to be content with. The present paper sheds light on two novels- Rama Mehta's Inside the Haveli and Manju Kapur's Difficult Daughters-to portray the subjugation and identity crisis of women. The paper problematizes the concepts of female space, subjugation, identity crisis, and liberation through the protagonists: Geeta in Inside the Haveli and Virmati in Difficult Daughters.


For centuries, the Indian society has been dominated by patriarchal system. The system has been accepted by the marginalized sex and at times has also been protested against. Women in the novels of Rama Mehta are nagged and harassed by patriarchal regulations, yet their spirit is never dampened by the adverse circumstances. Mehta's novel Inside the Haveli is set in Udaipur and focuses on issues like childbirth, child marriage, girls' education, purdah system, widow remarriage, and suppression of women. The themes are associated with issues of woman's identity, her selfhood, and the choices she makes when caught in the whirlpool of complex man-woman relationship. Writers, especially women writers, have drifted from traditional portrayal of enduring, self-sacrificing women toward conflict-torn female characters searching for their identity. Mehta has not only depicted the diversity of women but also the diversity within women. The story unfolds a voyage within to explore the consciousness of the female protagonist, Geeta. The novel portrays how women characters cope with changes in their life and


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