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Marriage to Morbidity : Women in Anita Desai’s Cry,the Peacock and Bharathi Mukherjee’s Wife

Powerful Essays
The predicament of women, their institutional subjection and freedom have been the major concerns of Indian women novelists since the 1960s. Their initial attempts were to challenge the ideal of the traditional, oppressed women in a culture permeated by religious images of virtuous goddesses devoted to their husbands. Gradually however, women writers have moved away from the stereotypical portrayals of enduring self-sacrificing women towards psychically perturbed female characters searching for identity, asserting their individuality and defying marriage and motherhood.
Anita Desai and Bharathi Mukherjee, two prominent contemporary writers in Indian English literature, have made significant efforts to give voice to Indian women’s unvoiced resentments. Many writers of Indian diaspora engage the complexities of modern culture from a feminine perspective, while highlighting the Indian female predicament of maintaining self-identity in a male-dominated society. Often the protagonists in their novels are Anglicized Indian women who, disgusted with their monotonous life and lack of warmth in marital relationships, ultimately covet an escape from the folds of family institution.
Anita Desai’s Cry the Peacock and Bharathi Mukherjee’s Wife both deal with the socio-psycho attitudes of human mind caught between personal desires and cultural restrictions. Embodying remonstrance and psychic protest, the protagonists Maya and Dimple strive for the protection and preservation of their dignity and self-esteem in a patriarchal society. They are not totally cut off from familial and social ties but remain within these orbits and protest against isolation, injustice and gender discrimination.
The psychological unfolding of M...

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...ere (Bhatnagar 1).
They are alienated from the world, from society, from families and friends, and even from their own selves because they are not ordinary people but individuals made to stand against the general current of life; struggling against it to attain the aspired world.

Works Cited

Bhatnagar, M. K., and M. (Mittapalli) Rajeshwar. The Novels of Anita Desai: A Critical
Study. New Delhi: Atlantic and Distributors, 2000. Print.
Desai, Anita. Cry, the Peacock. New Delhi: Orient Paperbacks, 1980. Print.
Gupta, Ramesh Kumar. The Novels of Anita Desai: A Feminist Perspective.
New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, 2002. Print.
Mukherjee, Bharati. Wife. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1975. Print.
Tandon,Sushma. Bharati Mukherjee's Fiction: A Perspective. New Delhi:
Sarup&Sons, 2004. Print.
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