The “True Darkness” of the Slave Woman: Portrayal of women and violence in Marlon James’ The Book of Night Women ( Vol-3,Issue-1,January - February 2018 )
Author: Sangeeta S.
Keyword: Violence; women; darkness; slavery: Marlon James; Jamaica; colonisation
Abstract: Violence is one of society’s biggest, most tragic problems.However the cultural constructs, kept in place and reinforced by the patriarchal societies that we live in, refuse to associate women with violence. They are never seen capable of being the aggressors, their trauma or the complete lack of it, when they become the mute spectators of violence, is hardly ever recognised and if violence is perpetrated on them, it is normalised as being the fate of their kind. In his novel, The Book of Night Women, Marlon James traces out the lives of Jamaican slave women during the period of British colonisation of the island. James attempts to narrate from the perspective of women in general and slave women in particular. He does not shy away from associating women with violence. They are seen as perpetrators, spectators and victims of violence. In The Book of Night Women, violence is not constrained by gender. The attempt of this paper is to study the female characters of the novel in the three broad categories of perpetrators, spectators and victims of violence.
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