Combative constructions of femininity in the late twentieth-century narratives of India

Authored by: Nandita Ghosh

Routledge Handbook of Contemporary India

Print publication date:  August  2015
Online publication date:  August  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415738651
eBook ISBN: 9781315682570
Adobe ISBN: 9781317403586

10.4324/9781315682570.ch29

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Abstract

This chapter will scrutinize how gender constructs available in the fiction, journalism, and scholarship of the late twentieth century complicate any discussion of nationhood, modernity, and development because these narrate ‘women’ as an unstable signifier destabilizing established meanings. In the fiction of the period, authors explore constructions of femininity through a variety of female characters that modify or subvert the roles they are required to play. Often readers are critically distanced from these characters by the movement of the text or by ironic third-person commentary. Such distancing signals the possibility of reading differently the apparently seamless narrative of the nation.

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