Dance Like A Man Character Analysis

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Gender discrimination is the unequal treatment or prejudice or discriminatory attitude towards a gender based on the grounds of a person’s gender or sex. It arises from differences in the unwritten norms by the society for socially constructed gender roles. In Gender disparity, one gender is considered superior to the other; most of the times, men are considered superior to women but sometimes, men are also discriminated in the hands of the society because of the unwritten social norms. Gender discrimination has been depicted by different writers in their works. As it is very apparent in India, Indian literature is a corpus of gender discrimination. In this article, I’ll be discussing Mahesh Dattani’s Dance Like a Man as a critique of gender…show more content…
After reading Edward Albee’s play ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’in his early life, he was interested in writing. In 1986, he wrote his first full-length play, Where There’s a Will. His other important plays are Dance Like a Man, Tara, Final Solutions, Bravely Fought the Queen, On a Muggy Night in Mumbai etc. In 1998, Dattani won the prestigious Sahitya Akedemi Award for his book of plays, Final Solutions and other plays,thus, becoming the first English language playwright to win the award. Dance Like a Man is one of the best plays written by an Indian in English. It was first performed in Bangalore on September 22, 1989 as part of the Deccan Herald Festival with the playwright Mahesh Dattani playing young Jairaj/Vishwas. Dance Like a Man has also been filmed by Pamela Rooks; starring Anushka Shankar as Lata Parekh, Mohan Ahashe as Amritlal Parekh, Arif Zakaria as Jairaj Parekh, Shobana as Ratna Parekh and Samir Soni as Vishal; and has won the National Award for the best feature film in English (2003). Dattani calls this play “One of my favourite plays”. In this play, Dattani shows how the society and the oddity of the individuals work. To quote Michael Willing, there is something very “Indian” about the play. It is a play in two-acts and Dattani incorporates the traditional Bharatnayam dance form and brings together the historic India and the property-minded,…show more content…
The setting of the play is of Chennai, where dance is an integral part of life and a favourite mode of aesthetic expression. The story of the play is based on Dattani’s own experience when he was learning Bharatnatyam. There are various themes in the play but strictly speaking, Dance Like a Man is a critique of gender discrimination. There is an on-going battle between society and individuals (discriminated on the basis of gender). The impact of patriarchal authority in a joint family and kowtowing to the rest of the family has been highlighted here. The result of such high-handedness is quite natural, as in the play in which the family- family as the microcosm of society- lays down the unwritten
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