Patriarchy In The Thousand Faces Of Night

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In India the cultural super sense today is based on patriarchy. The caste system and patriarchy are related to these cultural standpoints. Women’s progress in society is not from myth to truth but from myth to myth which has caused awe and terror in society. The thousand faces of night, in this novel play with the two images of ‘Optimistic’ and ‘Pessimistic’ women. She shows struggle between tradition and modernity. She tells us the story of five women characters like Devi, Sita, Pati, Parvatiamma and Mayamma. Patterns of women’s life in a Hindu cultural society can very well be observed in The Thousand Faces of Night. There are other narratives of women linked with these women. Mythological female characters, like Sita, Amba, Gandhari, Ganga,…show more content…
She challenges the patriarchal models of these myths in Thousand Faces of Night. There have been many women characters in Mahabharata and Ramayana. These epics have laid down the principles of social power structure. In Hindu Mythology, the women are treated as sacrificing, dependent, worried to please, subordinate and submissive. This depiction of woman stands true in the present time as well and these are still the popular themes in a study of television serials as quoted by Chris Barker as ‘Attributes of masculinity and femininity on Indian television’ (Krishnan and Dhinge, 1990). Since ages, the Indian culture has been operating on the basis of the norms laid down by these epics. The women characters may have been powerful enough but the society has been modelled on ‘Sita’ in Ramayana. In the Hindu Mythology ideal women is ‘Sita’. Wendy Doniger calls Sita the ‘official role model’ for Indian women and laments, ‘How different the lives of the actual women in India would have been had Draupadi, instead of Sita, been their official role model! Many Hindus name their daughters Sita, but few name them Draupadi . According to Dungier the women of Mahabharata are extremely prominent, feisty, and individualistic, in part as a result of changes that were taking place in the social structures at the time of the reception of the text. There are some women in Ramayana who behave badly, like Kaikeyi, Manthara- the hunchback women or Ahalya- the archety- pal adulteress. The differentiated images of women in the Ramayana led to another major split in Hinduism, for though the Brahmin imaginary made Sita the role model for the Hindu women from this time onward, other Sanskrit texts as well as many dialect versions of Ramayana picked up on the shadow aspect of Sita, the passionate Sita, an aspect that is also entrenched in this first text, only partially displaced on to other, openly demonic

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