Dimple's Identity In The Male-Indian Woman

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Dimple’s subservience reiterates a culture and ideology (both her own and American) that denies her the right to personal feelings and desires that serve her own interests, and which would allow her to forge her own identity. Brought up to defer to her father / husband’s final authority to examine and judge her every motion and behaviour, she cannot serve as an agent of change on her own behalf because she cannot comprehend any reason to justify her feelings. As an Indian woman, and help up as the symbol and repository of “virtue”, it was her feminine duty subjugates her feelings and desires to the will of her husband: “She wanted Amit to be infallible, intractable, godlike, but with boyish charm” (88–89). Dimple’s feeble attempt at asserting her identity, marginal though it is, is not only met with a wall of indifference, but even her language (word) is appropriated by her husband. Even as she is aware of this appropriation, however, her interiority – her feminine self – does not allow her to evaluate her gendered role or the power differentials between male / female Mukherjee posits Dimple’s descent into insanity as a trope that in the end allows silence to he overcome by an action – that of killing her husband – that simultaneously validates Dimple’s identity even as it confirms her marginality. In Wife, Mukherjee iterates the marginalization of woman by exploring – and exploding – ways in which culture and ideology construct feminine identity. Although expatriation
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