Role Of Old Age In Literature

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Age or the process of ageing is a phenomenon which goes unnoticed in theory, but incorporates a part of the unconscious of every human being. It starts from the birth of a baby who is one day old to its subsequent birthdays, the attaining of youth and the actions to not reveal one’s age, the temptation to know other’s age and finally the second childishness. Ageing is an inevitable physical manifestation, which is an important sociological factor. The importance of the process of ageing is bound to substantially increase in the coming years as the current demographic dividend of the most populous China and India will subsequently age. This will lead to a population composition in the shape of an inverted pyramid with a smaller base of youth and a larger percentage of older people. Hence interpreting ageing should be done very meticulously in order to not alienate them by constructing a limited space for the elderly, where they are expected to move about. This restriction slowly gets fostered into a stereotyping of them, finally resulting in a social othering. Different genres of literature have fostered these gendered stereotyping by representing older characters in that particularly enclosed space. This paper would first outline the relevance of studying ageing. Then it will look into the many social representations of old age carried out in different areas of literature. Furthermore some candid examples of mature characters of old age with all their sophistication are

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