Difficult Daughters Analysis

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Portrayal of a New Woman and her Quest for Identity in Manju Kapur’s Difficult Daughters
Ave Maria Mechery, M.Phil., Research Scholar, Nirmala College for Women, Coimbatore Indian society from the very beginning has its own culture and norms but the society is a closed one because of its conservativeness. Women are being treated as inferior objects in the patriarchal society. She strives hard to come out from this submissiveness to establish her own place in the society.
This paper shows the transformation of a naive girl into a matured woman, her change of becoming a new woman and her relation to the society and the others. Meenakshi Mukherjee comments, “. . . a novel must be connected with the fabric of actual life” (225). Manju Kapur’s Difficult Daughters protagonist Virmati a sixteen year old girl, is the eldest among her eleven brothers and sisters. Her mother Kasturi was unable to look
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Learnt from her own sorrowful experience she tries to condition her daughter Ida that she should not fall into a trap like her. Simone de Beauvoir’s statement makes it more explicit:
She (mother) grimly forbids the child to resemble her; she wants her experience to be of some use, it is one way of having second chance. The prostitute sends her daughter to a convent: the ignorant woman has hers educated. Real conflicts arise when the girl grows older; as we have seen, she wishes to establish her independence from her mother. (78) It is clear that Virmati’s character reflects the Indian Woman’s psyche. To quote R.S. Pathak, “Her quest for identity is a spiritual odyssey of the modern man who has lost his social and spiritual moorings and who is anxious to seek his roots” (150). Indian women have achieved their successes in half a century of independence but the true female independence too, much remains to be
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