Elaine Showalter Analysis

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Elaine Showalter, a familiar American feminist critic identifies the progress of women as ‘feminine’, ‘feminist’ and ‘female’. Based on this concept the paper studies the travel taken by the women characters and how Githa Hariharan has created her own model, pattern and concept of ‘feminism’. She draws inspiration from the plight, the struggle, the resistance and revolt practiced by the contemporary Indian women of all classes and creeds -- urban or rural. To Elaine Showalter the terms ‘feminine’, (imitative), ‘feminist’ (protest) and ‘female’ (self discovery) denote developmental stages. In general, critics accept the concept of ‘feminine’ or ‘femininity’ as denoting lack, negativity, marginality, and absence of meaning. It is also characterized…show more content…
In the words of Simone de Beauvoir: “Marriage diminishes man, which is often true; but almost always it annihilates woman” (The Second Sex). Mayamma, the servant maid and the grandmother in The Thousand Faces of Night are identified as ‘feminine’ who seem to fulfill every criterion of complete feminine development. They are excellent wives, mothers, and capable housewives. Mayamma, the family retainer in the house of Devi’s father-in-law is the archetypal female who accepted her fate, cursed it but never questioned it, and lived her life exactly as she was expected to. She bore the brunt of cruelty that the patriarchal family had ordained for a woman as a daughter, a wife, a daughter-in-law and a mother. She made no choice and she had no choice but to live a predetermined…show more content…
Devi at the age of adolescence was a pet, as well as like Sri Devi for her grandmother. When she was in abroad she was escorted by her boy friend Dan. Her mother fulfilled her needs, gave her good education at America and at the right time she arranged marriage with Mahesh. But after marriage she feels that she has lost everything in her life. Devi‘s dream-like life comes to an end when she is married to Mahesh, a Regional manager in a multi-national company. At first Devi admired Mahesh‘s frank speech, later she realized that he is too Indian and as well as he sees everything in a business motto including family and wife. He does not want to share anything with his wife except the needs of his body. He goes on long tours for weeks together on business. In an accident, it is found that Devi asked Mahesh to postpone the business trip. But Mahesh insulted her saying, “Why don‘t I pray to be born a woman in my next birth, then I won‘t have to make a living at all.” (TFN

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