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Literary Analysis Of Ancient Promise By Janu's Story

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Introduction Fairy tales existed in the oral traditions of many civilizations before they were adopted, adapted and transcribed into the corpus of literature, and more recently, popular fiction. They evolved and reflected the changes in society. Many of the ancient fairy tales were in fact dynamic and empowering discourse on womanhood which were later re-written in order to teach women their passive, submissive role in society and aimed at maintaining the status quo. The intent and purpose of many of the original folk tales had thus been distorted to suit prevalent view. Hence it is clear that a certain social dynamics existed behind the telling and subsequently re-telling of these tales. The psychological approach…show more content…
It is a Cinderella kind of transformation of the young and vulnerable Janu into a more determined stronger and empowered woman who is capable of taking decisions about her own life. “My marriage ended today”. With this stark statement Misra begins her novel. “ Ma has said, as we left the court, her voice and her eyes brimming with sadness, that it had been my fate”(3). Narrated in the first person in flashback, Janu’s story, by Misra’s own admission, is a thinly veiled autobiography. The author traces the events leading up to Janu’s divorce, as she travels back home from the court on a rainy night in Kerala. As a young eighteen year old girl from Delhi, Janaki or Janu was forced to give up Arjun, her first love, who leaves for England to pursue higher studies. Pressurized by her family she enters into a loveless arranged marriage with a businessman who is several years her senior. Suresh Maraar, heir to the Maraar fortunes is seen as a prize catch for an ordinary middle class family like Janu’s. The pressure from her extended family is subtle when the mighty Maraar clan approves of her so easily: “What are they going to think? They could even retract their offer by tomorrow!”. “Be grateful for what you’re getting”. “They don’t even want a dowry…It’s nothing less than arrogance to say no to people like that’ (61). Janu’s feeble protests are brushed aside. She is forced to sacrifices her love for Arjun because she says she is ‘tired of fighting off my family”. Ridden with guilt for the pain she has caused her parents by transgressing the boundary they had set, and daring to fall in love, she looked upon her marriage to Suresh as a kind of compensation-“to ensure that I began to pay off some of the debt that has accrued against my name somewhere’(68). Suresh has nothing in common with her but agrees to the ‘alliance’ because she fits into his specifications of being pretty,
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