Question 1: Discuss the woman’s point of view by referring to texts written by women. What are their themes and concerns?
Ans: The first instances of Indian women writing in English are from the later quarter of the nineteenth century. This is a significant turning point for feminism in India. One of the primary causes for the modernization of Indian women’s thinking was their access to English education. Women were motivated to seek English education because of the vast possibility for higher education, which had a visible influence on women’s standing. Indian women were exposed to appealing and thought-provoking Western culture, ideas, philosophy, literature, and movements. They were given the opportunity to express their Indianness in English, which they had recently learned.
Indian variety of writing English is quickly gaining traction. It has launched a new age in the domain of fiction and has won several awards both at home and abroad. Women authors in India have begun to criticise the patriarchal dominance of the past. They are no longer man’s puppets in his hands. They have proven their usefulness in the area of literature on both a qualitative and quantitative level, and they continue to do so without difficulty today.
During the early stages, there were fewer female writers. Their works assist the reader in gaining an understanding of the female psychology and the sentiments and ambitions of women in a changing society.
Mahashweta Devi’s texts: According to Mahashweta Devi’s novel “Salt,” women authors’ perspectives and concerns evolve in tandem with the current situation. Devi’s narrative “Salt” depicts the hardship of tribals who were robbed of arable forest land by Hindu traders who arrived following the Kole Revolt of 1831. The main topic of this narrative is exploitation, which highlights the plight of the innocent tribals who are exploited by everyone in a position of authority. The rejection of tribals’ land rights is one of Mahasweta’s primary issues, both in her fiction and in her activist works. She recounts the catastrophic results of “development” in the Palamau area in her article “The Slaves of Palamau” (1983): “At one time the district boasted of huge forests. The rainforests have been substantially devastated, and the district is now classified as dry upland” (11). After the impoverished people’s rebellion against the British and the jagirdars was suppressed in 1857, she chronicles the rise of the bonded labour system in the area.
Anita Desai’s Writings: Another renowned author of Indian English literature is Anita Desai. Among India’s current female authors, she occupies a unique position. Desai’s female protagonists in her books rebel against patriarchal communities in order to discover their own potential or live on their own terms, regardless of the repercussions of their actions. Self-chosen retreat becomes a weapon for survival in a patriarchal culture for these women, who take on the role of outsiders to oppose and critique those cultural ideas that stand in their way of being free individuals. Desai women desire independence inside the society of men and women since that is the only way to achieve their goals. In fact, in the novel Clear Light Of Day, Desai’s ideal of a liberated woman, Bimala, is unmarried. Maya in Cry, a Peacock, Monisha in The City, Nanda in Fire in the Mountain, and Sita in Where Shall We Go This Summer? are all married woman characters. Become sad, aggressive, or destructive to yourself. They essentially lose their minds and kill or ruin others, or else kill or ruin themselves. These women’s nemesis is a result of the complicated societal framework, immediate familial settings, and connections with their males, not a personal one. Desai’s characters are frequently shown as single women. Desai does not dismiss the institution of marriage or advocate for social exclusion. A few of her female characters, like as Tara in “Clear Light of Day,” find happiness in their marriages. Instead, via Bimala, Desai demonstrates a form of feminist liberation that entails not confining women to their conventional roles, but rather extending and waking them to a variety of different options. Apart from being energising, their way of life also frees them from reliance on males.
Arundhati Roy’s Writings: Arundhati Roy, a prominent and recognised author, was born in Bengal in 1961 and is the subject of the study. Arundhati was born and raised in Kerala. “A feminist is a woman who negotiates herself into a position where she has options,” she argues. With her debut work The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy established herself as an artist in the international world. The End of Imagination and The Greater Common Good are two of Roy’s key articles. Arundhati has never professed to being a feminist, yet her novel ‘The God of Small Things’ exposes her feminist viewpoint in many places, and its protagonist represents feminine sensibility. In ‘The God of Small Things,’ Roy appears to be an iconoclast. The stylistic variations distinguish the work and give it life and enthusiasm. The novel is one-of-a-kind in every way, and it is a linguistic experiment in English. The use of vernacular language words, phrases, and even sentences, italics, subject-less sentences, faulty spellings, topicalization, divergence from regular word order, single word’sentences,’ change of word classes, clustering of word classes, and a variety of other techniques are among the stylistic writings. The novel’s primary topics are ecology and subalternity, which she emphasises. In her previous writings, Roy’s keen observations and attention to detail in the development of her creative abilities may be seen. ‘The End of Imagination’ and ‘The Greater Common Good’ are two of her most notable online pieces. Roy criticises the Indian government’s nuclear policy in The End of Imagination. In her book The End of Imagishe nation, Arundhati Roy predicts the devastating effects of nuclear weapons on humans and the environment.
This demonstrates that female authors have progressed from challenging to tribal and rural settings, but they have all demonstrated sympathy for women and their issues. They have made a significant contribution to raising awareness for modern women all around the world by touching on a wide range of topics. They should be commended for the wide range of issues they cover when it comes to the Indian environment. Although some of the writers may not profess to be members of the feminist movement, their writings imply that their inner spirit and sentiments are solely for the benefit of women.