Gender Bias and Destitution: A Marxist Feminist Intervention in Doris Lessing’s the Grass is Singing

  • M Supriya M.Phil Scholar, Sadakathullah Appa College, Rahmath Nagar, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, India
Keywords: Marxist, feminism, economical, gender, oppression


The article focuses on the gender and financial crisis of the white women who live in the rural areas of Southern Africa. After the emergence of post-colonialism in literature and other fields, writers began to question and break the rules against the colonial countries. Many contemporary writers from Africa and Asian countries produce literary works that condemn racial discrimination and the ill-treatment against the natives. But in this novel The Grass is Singing, Doris Lessing brings out the sad reality of the whites who live in poverty in an alien nation.

Quite specifically, Doris Lessing’s The Grass is Singing can be read in relation with a Marxist feminist perspective. “Marxist feminism is feminism focused on investigating and explaining the ways in which women are oppressed through systems of capitalism and private property” (119) This perception can draw our sympathy towards Mary, one of the major characters of the novel and it exposes how a white woman is being suppressed physically, mentally and economically. The novel explores the realistic situation that how middle-class white people strive hard to maintain their dignity and pride in front of the natives. Moreover, the novelist also discloses about the gender inequality that was prevailing among the white society in South Africa. In this article, the term “gender bias” actually deals with the suppression of a white woman both by the colonizer and colonized.

The Grass is Singing is a text which actually goes against the general assumption on an African society. The novel shows us clearly that how a white woman is easily drawn to death because of her poor economical condition and the gender oppression that she has been facing throughout her life

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