Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 7 July 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.



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Manju Kapoor's Difficult Daughters
A Saga of Feminist Autonomy and Separate Identity

Mayur Chhikara, Ph.D.


Manju Kapur presents the yearning for autonomy and separate identity in her women protagonists in this post-modern novel in a traditional thread. The novelist has portrayed her protagonists as women caught in the conflict between the passions of the flesh and a yearning to be a part of the political and intellectual movements of the day. Thematically the novel supports a romantic story of Virmati and her intellectual yearnings. In the chain growth of the events, Virmati becomes the difficult daughter for her mother as well Ida for her.

Stoic Women in Difficult Daughters

Manju Kapur in Difficult Daughters presents the image of the suffering but stoic women eventually breaking traditional boundaries in the backdrop of traditional narrative thread. In post-colonial era, partition (traditional narrative thread) has ever been the most prolific and prominent area for creative writers. "A number of novels were written on the theme of the destruction it brought and the plight of the refugees. They faithfully record the reign of violence that characterized the period and provide a sad, telling commentary on the breakdown on human values". (Dhawan 14)

The Traditional Narrative Thread

Using the traditional narrative thread, Manju Kapur has invigorated the English language to suit narration of what she felt about her women and their lives in post modern India in a culture where individualism has often remained an alien idea and marital bless-the women's role at home is a central focus. Dora Sales Salvador (356), in her note to her Spanish translation of the novel, appropriately stresses: 'Kapur emphasises the efforts made at that time by numerous women who, while demanding equal opportunities, equal access to education and life-opportunities going beyond convention, were a visible force in the non-violent resistance to the British'.

Likewise Christopher Rollason (2004) comments that the search for control over one's destiny, surely the key theme of Difficult Daughters, refers to the Independence aspired to and obtained by a nation (despite its cruel division by a fateful Partition), but also to the independence yearned after (and finally not obtained) by a woman and member of that same nation (or of one of its rival communities).

Manju's Women Characters

Manju Kapur, in her novels, presents women who try to establish their own identity. In Difficult Daughters, Virmati, in her quest for identity, who is also the central character of the novel, rebels against tradition. She is impelled by the inner need to feel loved as an individual rather than as a responsible daughter. Mrs. Kapur herself asserts that "conflict between mother and daughter is inevitable and I suppose I was a difficult daughter. The conflict carries on through generation because mothers want their daughters to be safe. We want them to make the right choices-'right' in the sense that they are socially acceptable. My mother wanted me to be happily married; I want my daughters to have good jobs." (Bala and Chandra 107)

The very title of the novel Difficult Daughters is an indication to the message that a woman, who tries in search of an identity, is branded as a difficult daughter by the family and the society as well.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

EAT Expressions in Manipuri | Learning from Movies - 'Slumdog Millionaire' and Language Awareness | Maternal Interaction and Verbal Input in Normal and Hearing Impaired Children | Role of L2 Motivation and the Performance of Intermediate Students in the English (L2) Exams in Pakistan | Problems in Ph.D. English Degree Programme in Pakistan - The Issue of Quality Assurance | Using Technology in the English Language Classroom | Teaching Literature through Language - Some Considerations | e-Learning of Japanese Pictography - Some Perspectives | Is It a Language Worth Researching? Ethnographic Challenges in the Study of Pahari Language | Using a Reading Material for Interactive Reading | Importance of Task-Based Teaching in Second Language Acquisition - A Review | Skill Enhancement Techniques - The Necessary Tools for the Indian Management Students | African American Literature and Ishmael Reed's Novels - Hoodism | Instances of Code Switching in Indian Television Serials | The Role of Compounding in Technical English Prescribed for Engineering Students in Tamilnadu | Polite Request Strategies as Produced by Yemeni EFL Learners | Manju Kapoor's Difficult Daughters - A Saga of Feminist Autonomy and Separate Identity | Reflections on Partition Literature - A Comparative Analysis of Ice Candy Man and Train to Pakistan | Mother Tongue! The Neglected Resource for English Language Teaching And Learning | Breaking the Good Mother Myths - A Study of the Novels of Amy Tan | Effect of Teachers' Academic Qualification on Students' L2 Performance at the Secondary Level | What Is Most Important? Fluency or Accuracy? Is Learning a Second Language a Conscious Process? | Let Us Learn from Our Standard 1 Textbook, Again! - A Brief Note on the New Standard 1 Tamil Textbook in Tamilnadu | Eugene O' Neill's The Hairy Ape - An American Expressionistic Play | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF JULY 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of July 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Mayur Chhikara, Ph.D.
Department of Humanities
International Institute of Technology and Business
Jhundpur, Sonipat 131023
Haryana, India

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