Existentialism In Anita Nair's Ladies Coupe

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This paper explores Existentialism in terms of freedom and responsibility in Anita Nair’s novel Ladies Coupe. Alpna Rastogi in her article says that “The novel has also been called a novel in parts, perhaps because the life and experiences of six women have been welded together by the author into a consummate whole, with Akhila or Akhilendeswari, as a magnet in the centre”(2). The novel is about six culturally diversified women viz. Akhila, Sheela Vasudevan, Prabha Devi, Janaki Prabhakar, Margaret Paulraj and Marikolanthu and revolves around their lives, existential struggle to discover their identity, individuality, strength and independence with the succor of freedom and responsibility. The novel is the voice of those who break the image of traditional and ideological women and speak against the age old conventions to define and honor themselves. It is a shared journey with shared confession of their submission and suppression. The story of each of the ladies is thought provoking, appealing, and inspiring in their own way. Anita Nair in her acknowledgement to the Ladies Coupe has said that “…this novel is about ordinary women and their indomitable spirit” (vii). In other words, her novel is an exponent of the Existentialistic spirit. Here it is necessary to understand the spirit of existentialism and what it is all about.

“Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself”. (Jean-Paul Sartre) This quote of Jean-Paul Sartre generates the very spirit of
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