Feminist Voices: Indian Women Novelists in English
Since the time of inception of the history of civilized mankind, women have been victims of oppression and suppression. Even in literature, they have been denied a voice. It was only in the twentieth century which facilitated the introduction of Education that a quest for self-identification percolated into the minds of the subjugated women. Besides other places of the world, this also has been the scenario in the Indian Subcontinent, where simultaneously with the struggle to attain independence from the British Raj, went on the struggle of self-conscious women or the “New Women” to find ways of emancipation from the dominance of patriarchy and establish an independent identity of themselves. This was visible even in the literary sphere. This paper is aimed at tracing the feminist way of portraying women by eminent novelists like Anita Desai and Shobha De and is also bent upon critically comparing the varying approach of protest against male-chauvinism and patriarchy harboured by the characters created by Anita Desai and Shobha De. While the female characters of Anita Desai remain deeply engaged in the quest for self search instead of acting against the patriarchal system, the bold and defiant steps taken up by the female characters of Shobha De as a means to voice their grievances against the stern patriarchy are bound to leave one in amazement and appreciation.