Feminism In English Literature

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Women in India like black women are still systematically subjected to violence, torture, coercion, sexual abuse, starvation, economic deprivation, dowry death, battering and female infanticide. What is commonly held is that women have been subdued by men and subjected to various types of mental and physical tortures down the ages. In the pre – independence era the position of women in the society was abysmally low, so they developed a sense of inferiority complex. By the sheer force of a vicious system, even the most worthless man enjoys superiority over woman which probably he does not deserve. Mahatma Gandhi detested the evil practice of subordination of women in the society. He even held our culture responsible to some extent for the plight…show more content…
In literature, feminism exists as an ideology as well as a critical tool. But it assumes different shades, in accordance with social, class and cultural variations. Feminism and its crusade against an oppressive system is of special importance in the Indian context and has left a deep impression on Indian – English writings. The long period from the Vedic era to the twentieth century saw the gradual deterioration of the position of women from a state of respect and honour to one of complete subjugation and slavery. However, towards the middle of the twentieth century, the slow but steady changes in cultural, social and economic patterns of life expanded and altered the reality of women’s situation. The emergence of socio – religious reform movements further improved lot of women. Education came to be seen as a means of equipping women to be better wives and mothers. Various practices like sati, polygamy, child marriage, purdah and femaleinfanticide were found to be cruel and attempts were made to remove them. While reformers like Swami Dayanand did much to introduce education into the lives of women, essentially their views were confined to the patriarchal frame work. Even though the efforts of the great reformers like Swami Dayanand, LalaLajpatRai, AryaSamajistsand Mahatma Gandhi to improve the status of women were genuine and sincere, they were unable to shake off the basic values of patriarchy which were deeply embedded in them. The weight of tradition was too much for their Hindu minds to shed. On the whole, the ideal woman for them remained the devoted wife and the caring mother. Her life was to be dedicated to the service of her husband, family and the freedom of the country. She should be able to lay down her life for the sake of fidelity and chastity. But education opens her eyes to the door of

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