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Writing Resistance: A Comparative Study of the Selected Novels by Women Writers

Usha Bande (Author)
Synopsis Resistance can be as esoteric as silence and silence can be as impenetrable as hegemonic power; conversely, both resistance and silence have the potential to challenge power. By its very nature, resistance is non-confrontational. It works subtly through seemingly small, innocuous everyday acts of non-compliance and achieves the desired results imperceptibly and slowly. As a socio-cultural-historical practice, resistance has been largely successful, the most obvious example being Gandhi's philosophy of 'passive resistance'; as literary practice it poses challenge to the reader as well s the author. Indian women writers have provided variegated pictures of resistance practices in the modern Indian context. In this study, Bande examines the treatment of resistance in nine contemporary novels written in English. Through a close reading of the selected novels of Anita Desai, Shashi Deshpande, Githa Hariharan, Manju Kapur, Shobha De, Arundhati Roy and Bapsi Sidhwa, she examines women's conditioning, their internalization of patriarchy and the reasons for their inability to subscribe to any oppositional action. Textual resistance functioning within the feminist, cultural and post-colonial milieu of the novels provides a platform to understand the theoretical debates and identify various resistant strategies deployed by the creative writers. She traces-drawing on the theories of feminist resistance, resistance operative during the anti-colonial/nationalist struggle, and subaltern resistance-the inter-connection between gender, cultural practices and the Western influence on India social system. Bande observes that despite the influence of the Western influence on India social system. Bande observes that despite the influence of the Western ideologies, which cannot be avoided in the Third World context, and the present socio-economic changes, one cannot sidetrack the strong cultural leanings of the authors that provide unique ethos to the works. In her analysis, Bande focuses on issues such as resistance offered to patriarchy, to the matriarch as patriarchy's agent, rape and violence against women, childhood experiences as resistance and revisionist mythmaking as resistance. Recognition of resistance in these texts help us locate the implicit urges of women to re-define their 'self' and to survive not in abject passivity but with dignity.
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About the author

Usha Bande

Usha Bande, till recently Fellow, Indian Institute of advanced Study, Shimla, was on the faculty of English Literature in Government College for Women, Shimla.  She retired as Principal, Government College, Arki.  Dr. Bande worked for her doctorate on the novels of Anita Desai, interpreting Desai's characters from the angle of Horneyan psychology.  This is an innovative approach and has been widely acclaimed by US scholars in the field.  She completed a major UGC project on the Indian Short Stories in 1998, and has also worked in the field of Women's Studies at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla.  She is a prolific writer and has numerous research papers and more than a dozen books to her credit.

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Bibliographic information

Title Writing Resistance: A Comparative Study of the Selected Novels by Women Writers
Author Usha Bande
Format Hardcover
Date published: 10.01.2006
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8179860655
length xiii+293p.