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Title: Gender Roles and the Quest for Identity: A Study of Shashi Deshpande’s That Long Silence
Other Titles: Journal of Women's Studies (A Peer Reviewed Journal), Vol. X, 2021, pp 26-38
Authors: Akram, Wasim
Keywords: Gender
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: University of North Bengal
Abstract: Women in all ages remain the object of suppression. They often neither have any voice nor an independent identity of their own. Men become the deciding factor about how a woman should behave and act. They have always been taught to be docile, submissive, and conventional to be accepted by the society. They are made to behave in a certain stereotypical way to maintain the male supremacy. They are given a position inferior to men in a hierarchical social structure, controlled and dominated by men and they merely serve as objects of this control and rule. The whole purpose of their existence revolves around serving in the family as someone’s daughter, wife, sister or mother. These stereotypical gender roles assigned to them by the society keep them confined within the four walls of familial entanglement where they do not have any voice or agency. Shashi Deshpande in her novel, That Long Silence captures this traumatized and painful existence of women in a middle-class Indian family. The novelist portrays the ever-suffering existence and the quest for independent identity of women through the presentation of the character of Jaya who has to maintain silence throughout her married life for the fear of disrupting familial comfort and security. I, in my paper, will attempt to address this crisis raised by the author and also show how the society creates a boundary for women to delimit their capabilities and stifle their voice and agency in a constrictive social structure that does not allow women to speak.
ISSN: 2320-3625
Appears in Collections:Vol. X, 2021

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