Exploitation and Subjugation of Women in ‘The Dark Holds no Terrors’
Nazia Rashid*; Dr Anshu Raj Purohit**
*Research Scholar, Professor **,
Department of English, Career Point University, Kota Rajasthan-India
Shashi Deshpande has been the champion of the disquietude and struggles of women. Her works, very indisputably depict the various roles of women in their life as a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, , a daughter-in-law and so on. Her works can’t be called directly feminist since her works are not against man; in fact, her novel depicts the dilemma of the new educated modern working women in the traditional Indian society. This present paper attempts to critically analyse the selected novel of Shashi Deshpande _The Dark Holds No Terrors. The focus of the paper is to present why women are no longer afraid of darkness and why women are really oppressed in the society. Women, for ages altogether, have been subjected to exploitation and suppression; their lives have been spent in the darkness and thus, they are not afraid of darkness instead they feel comfort in the dark and even they feel estranged from others due to suppression by the patriarchal society. The study also attempts to highlight the fact that women are denied rights not only because of the circumstances but also because women themselves suppress other women and use men as instruments. The Dark Holds No Terrors is the story of Sarita, often referred to as Saru in the novel, and her disruptions and conflicts. The novel reveals the life of Sarita who is always neglected and ignored in favour of her brother. She is not given any heed-no parental love is shown upon her even on her birthdays. Her brother’s birthdays, however, are celebrated with full enthusiasm including the performance of the religious rituals. When her brother is drowned, she is blamed for it. Feminine sensibility is an appealing quality in literature. Almost all the writers in India express and expose this quality in their writings. The renowned novelist Shashi Deshpande is no exception in portraying this aspect in her novels. In this study, an attempt is made to study Shashi Deshpande’s women protagonists as portrayed in her novels, with a view to understand and appreciate their trials and tribulations under the impact of the conflicting influence of tradition and modernity. It critically analyses their response to the emerging situation in life so as to fit themselves in the contemporary society. The study considers the problems of her characters which have had to contend with the given situation.
Keywords: Women Empowerment, Subjugation, Conflicts, Suppression, Dilemma, Oppression