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Title: Voices beyond Death: The Spirits of Women in the Short Stories by Rabindranath Tagore
Other Titles: Journal of Women's Studies (A Peer Reviewed Journal), Vol. X, 2021, pp 39-53
Authors: Sarkar, Sanghita
Keywords: Bengali Literature
Ghost stories
Gender discrimination
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: University of North Bengal
Abstract: Fears of ghosts and ghoul and devotion towards the unnumbered local gods and goddess have always been an integral part of Bengali belief system. Inevitably, this has left a profound impact on Bengali literature as well. Be it the great Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore or the compositor of Bengali folk narratives Dakshinaranjan Mitra – spirits and ghosts have always been an inseparable part of Bengali writers’ creations. Though often reduced to the category of children’s fictions, many of these Bengali ghosts’ stories have crossed the boundaries of superstitions and beliefs and plunged into the opaque realm of human psychology. The current paper is an attempt to delve into this uncertain realm of human psyche with the help of three short stories by Rabindranath Tagore – ‘Kankal’ (The Skeleton),’Nishithe’ (In the Night), ‘Monihara’ (The Lost Jewel). The paper with the help of psychoanalytical feministic philosophy has attempted to explore how these ghosts’ stories have gone beyond the limits of local beliefs and superstitious sensations and brought out the problematic representation of gender roles and identities in contemporary Bengali society. In order to bring out the societal fissures the current paper here tries to raise such hypothetical questions as: i) How do these short stories expose in a covert manner the subjugation of the women in contemporary Bengali society? ii) How has the woman-self obtained voice after death in these short stories? iii) How do these stories register protests by the woman-spirits against the patriarchal Bengali socio-cultural beliefs and system?
ISSN: 2320-3625
Appears in Collections:Vol. X, 2021

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