The Thousand Faces Of Night Summary

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The Thousand Faces of Night is not just a womanish novel but it is a definite feminist writing in which myths are revisioned, rewrote and retold from a female point of view. The focus of this novel is on the inner lives of women, the inner spaces are reflected detail. We have great Saints, Rishis in our land who taught their people the art of living. We have produced great epics of the world that is Ramayana and Mahabharata which invariable preach the principles of life to the people. In classical Greek ‘Mythos’ signified any story or plot, whether true or invented. According to M.H.Abrams:
“A myth is one story in a mythology a system of hereditary stories which were once believed to be true by a particular cultural group and which served to
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Once this happens, the perception about the world around is to a great extent based on these truths when we believe that something is true we are accepting it as real.
Thus, the journey from myth to reality is completed. In other words, the probability becomes authentic fact and reality. Thus, there is no reality but only different representations of reality. And these representations are ideologically constructed. The Thousand Faces of Night articulates the problems of women on the basis of Indian mythology. Hariharan links the plight of her women characters with the Indian myths as Mahabharata to the gods, goddesses and legendary heroines in the epics of India. The well known anthropologist Malinowski has to say about myth. In his opinion: “Myth is vital ingredient of human civilization; it is not an idle tale, but a hard worked active force; it is not an individual explanation or artistic imagery, but a pragmatic charter of primitive faith and moral wisdom ……These stories do not live by idle interest; they are not narrated as historical accounts of ordinary facts. They are to the natives a statement of higher and more important truth of a primeval reality which is still regarded as the foundation of present day
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The author makes a useful distinction between normative myth and subversive myth. She defines the normative myth as one which tells you what sort of wife you should be, what sort of daughter-in-law and so forth. An acknowledgement of this presents the possibility of alternatives as notion of the subversive myth is described as the survival teaching myth. The consequence of the stories was so great that Devi created her fantasy world where she imagined herself as; “an incarnation of Durga, walking the earth to purge it of jowled slimy tailed greed” (Hariharan 43). One day while playing in the house Devi found her mother’s photograph holding a veena in her hands. The grandmother told Devi Sita was a very good veena player and she also told the reason why Sita stopped playing it. But before telling the reason she told her the story of Gandhari from the great epic the Mahabharata. After finding the lie about the blindness of her husband in her fury she made a vow and tore off a piece of cloth and tied it over her eyes for the whole life. In her appraisal “Gandhari was not just another willful, proud woman, she embraced her destiny a blind husband, with a self sacrifice worthy of her royal blood” (Hariharan 29). The grandmother makes comparison between Gandhari and Sita as both became dutiful wives. Similarly Sita pulled
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