The IUP Journal of English Studies
The Ayah as a Subaltern in Bapsi Sidhwa’s Ice-Candy-Man

Article Details
Pub. Date : Dec, 2018
Product Name : The IUP Journal of English Studies
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJES21812
Author Name : Shraddha Dhal
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : English Studies
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 04

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Abstract

Bapsi Sidhwa has successfully carved a niche for herself in the realm of Asian women’s writings. Her empathy for her women characters reflects her sensitivity to the stifled voices and the unspoken plight of the subaltern, the marginal, and the subsidiaries. The characters have been described as shaped by prejudice born of religious inequality, cultural subjugation, and above all cataclysmic political upheavals like the Partition of India. Sidhwa, who wants a world free of patriarchy and hierarchy, obliges us to meet her women who can be heard and translated, but have been rendered mute in a space dominated by males. This paper studies, with reference to the novel Ice-Candy-Man, the infliction of sufferings on women and the formation of the subaltern identity thereby. It focuses on the character of the Ayah in the novel, who, as a victim of oppression, symbolizes the fate of the subaltern.


Introduction

Bapsi Sidhwa, an internationally acclaimed Pakistani author, strives to bring women’s issues of the Indian subcontinent into the limelight. Sidhwa has a deep passion for history and truth-telling. Each of her novels focuses on a sociocultural aspect of a minority community along with its historical transformation, the sociopolitical concerns like Partition pangs, and the complexities of the lives of women in the subcontinent. As a novelist, she grapples with the realities of the pre-independence period. Sidhwa graduates, after the Partition, to articulate dislocation and disintegration, communal discord, women as victims and saviors, the constancy of desire and its lack of moral legitimacy, and the eternal conflict between good and evil in the human psyche.


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