Role of Women and Quest for Identity in Manju Kapur’s Difficult Daughters

  • S Senthil Nathan Assistant Professor of English, PG and Research Department of English, AVS College of Arts & Science, Salem, Tamil Nadu, India
  • V Kannan Assistant Professor, Department of English, Jayam College of Arts & Science, Nallanur, Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu, India
Keywords: Matriarchal, Patriarchal, Paleolithic


The purpose of this paper is to study the role of women in Manju Kapur’s Difficult Daughters. This novel won her the Common wealth Writer’s prize in the year 1999. This paper is an attempt to study the evolution of new woman in India after the partition. It is pertinent to note that throughout the history of mankind, from its Paleolithic civilization, Goddess worship was widely prevalent, and families were matriarchal in their structure. But in the course of time civilization was overtaken by patriarchal dominance, and worship of the male deity became the dominant concept. In social set up, male ego acquired control and predominance in all spheres of social activities such as ritualistic performances, politics, religion and ethnic which in turn submitted women to the place of utter subordination, a secondary place; the insignificant. The novelist presents the range of women and their problems of equal opportunities, equal access to education and identity for their life. The protagonist of the novel, Virmati, wants to live a free life, want to taste freedom and prove heridentity. But whenever she crosses the boundary she is caught by the patriarchal clutches. She dares tocross the patriarchal threshold but gets caught into another, where her spirit is curbed and controlled. Her life is oppressed by two forces namely colonialism and patriarchy

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