Aug 04, Maulika Patel rated it liked it This book had a lot of promise, unfortunately, for me, it failed. It felt unfinished. Sep 19, Shilpi Jain rated it really liked it Set in the backdrop of World War II, partition and the nascent India, this book is about love- myopic, pure, rebellious, painful but strong. Virmati is the eldest daughter of an affluent Arya Samaj family which encourages education but not independent thinking for their girls. She falls in love with a much married professor with two kids and thus starts the painful journey of being suspended in time for her life to start. After they are married and Virmati disowned by her family, her husband Set in the backdrop of World War II, partition and the nascent India, this book is about love- myopic, pure, rebellious, painful but strong.
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The purpose of present study is to investigate the positions of women in contemporary Indian novel Difficult Daughters by Manju Kapur.
The novel is set at the backdrop of Partition and Freedom Movement of India. The novel tells the story of an upper middle class urban Arya Samaj Punjabi family in Amritsar, Punjab. Two characters have been particularly taken for study Kapuri and her daughter, Virmati in the novel whose position usually bobs about in the society.
These two females have been studied in this paper extensively with their roles and duties in the family and outside world. Third generation character Ida has been given less space in the study as she is the narrator. The paper is also an attempt to highlight how education deviates from the main objective; even the educated girls like Virmati who spoils her life by falling in love with a married professor who has already fathered two children.
In this research paper, the writer analyzes and focuses on the issues related to the upper middleclass Indian women and their mental dilemma on their plight. The paper delineates the nervous-breakdowns of these ladies who live in patriarchal structured society and it also studies fraught mother-daughters relationships in the novel.
She earned her M. Phil from Delhi University. Her novels are stories of women living a life of marginality. Her first novel Difficult Daughters is about three generations in a single family. In an interview with rediff. The novel is is a story of a ten year old girl when we first meet her in the novel.
She has to do different household tasks of the home. The novel opens with a crematory scene where Ida is a daughter of main protagonist of the novel, Virmati. Almost all the story of the novel is told by Ida. She tells the life of her mother how and where she lived. The story progresses and so the mother-daughter relationships are more explicit. My eyes, my heart, my kidneys, any organ that can be of no use.
The way someone will value me after I have gone…. She is repeatedly reminded that she is born to work and please her in—laws. After she graduated, her education continued at home. She was going to please her in-laws Kapur She has been described in the novel as a mother whose duty is to give birth to children as many as she can. The plight of the women is described in a beautiful manner where there is no birth-control in India and ladies are considered a machine to produce more and more children.
When Kasturi gets married, she becomes the victim of this unrestricted birth. She is married in a traditional family. There is no provision for the gynecologist at their time and only midwives conduct deliveries. It can be painful. When Kasturi delivered her eleventh baby, it was cold December night. She was not properly attended after the delivery also. She was not allowed to take proper rest. She was still Vol. These children fight at home and the elder one commands orders on the younger siblings.
Almost the same kind of scene is reminded in the novel though it is an upper middle class in the novel. Her mother is always worried about her marriage and she does not understand her mental turmoil. Her mother fails to understand that Virmati is a very sincere girl since her childhood who has her self-respect. She is the real mother for her siblings whom she takes care when her mother gets aside from her duties after giving them birth. It is only Virmati who tends them.
So her role in the family is less of a child, a sister and more of a mother. She is impatient, rebellious and intolerant of fuss. Her mother wanted Virmati to do something all the time for her siblings and this habit of her mother irked her. She at such occasion gives a flat refusal to her mother. She is a girl of high aspirations. When she is thirteen years old and her mother was ill at Dalhousie, she comes to know the independent life of her cousin Shakuntla and she is then motivated to live a new life for her like Shakuntala.
Even after her marriage she went for an M. When she wants to go to Lahore like her cousin Shakuntla. The professor has been married with his uneducated wife in his childhood.
When she goes to college, this professor falls in love with her, and he gradually keeps a full control on her heart and mind. Virmati turns down the marriage proposal of Inderjit, a Canal Engineer.
She decides to commit suicide. She fails in her attempt and is locked up in a godown as a punishment Chakravorty Virmati listens his lectures with rapt attention. She rebels against her family to get her love. Virmati is deeply in love with Professor and refuses to marry Inderjit.
She tries to end her life by drowning. Ultimately she shifts to Lahore. But this professor is a great manipulator. He is not satisfied with his previous wife as she is not educated like him.
He does not accept Virmati socially and keeps continuing his illicit relationships with her. But professor understands the demand of time and he hastily marries her. But this marriage leaves her more disturbed, disposed, dissatisfied and perplexed. Well so be it. The mother beats her up and abuses her, when she attempts to come home and visits her sibling" Sudha Shree Rollason 3.
Even at the time of death of her father, she is not allowed to cross the threshold of the house while the son-in-law is warmly welcomed. The novel is related to her life and she gets a loving and caring husband and better surroundings to live in Delhi. Her husband is a businessman who sells South Korean TV sets. She starts teaching in a school to run her home just after her marriage and she has to get up early in the morning. She has to complete her official duties as well as domestic duties.
She develops headache and has to undergo an operation. She is hospitalized for four days. Her husband is dissatisfied from his life and his boss. He often comes homes late and Astha keeps on waiting to spend some time with him. In the novel Difficult Daughters, Virmati repents on what she did.
Then she is impressed and moved by Swarnalatha who is her room-mate in the hostel. She tells her that marriage is not only thing in life. Now the time has changed and women are coming out of their houses to take part in Satyagraha Movement to fight for their right. They are the conscious women who are using their energy in reforming and creative activities. They are using their minds organizing participating in conference, politically active, while my time is being spent in love.
She coveted an independent life like that of Shakuntala. Despite her desperation to forget the professor she helplessly failed and became more entangled with him. Being away from her home, and moral control exercised by her mother, she succumbed to his passionate demands Chatterjee 3.
This novel does not approach the women of a family or a single state of Punjab; rather it has wide dimensions. Kasturi, Virmati, Astha or Ida are victimized of the rotten-rules of the patriarchal society.
Ultimately women get awareness and they are conscious of their rights and try to carve a niche in the turbulent environment. Works Cited: Kapur, Manju. Difficult Daughters . London: Faber and Faber, Jain, Jasbir. Rajul Bhargava. Jaipur: Rawat Publications, Manju Kapur. A Married Women. New Delhi: India Ink, Sudha Shree, P. Sathupat, Prasanna Sree.
The purpose of present study is to investigate the positions of women in contemporary Indian novel Difficult Daughters by Manju Kapur. The novel is set at the backdrop of Partition and Freedom Movement of India. The novel tells the story of an upper middle class urban Arya Samaj Punjabi family in Amritsar, Punjab. Two characters have been particularly taken for study Kapuri and her daughter, Virmati in the novel whose position usually bobs about in the society. These two females have been studied in this paper extensively with their roles and duties in the family and outside world. Third generation character Ida has been given less space in the study as she is the narrator.
They have portrayed the women characters as individuals who fight against suppression and oppression of women by the patriarchal society. They portray women as rebelling against the traditional role, breaking the shackles of exploitation and oppression, awakening with search for identity, to assert their individuality. Manju Kapur is one of the prominent new voices making her presence felt. She raises the voice against male chauvinism to claim the rights of economic independence of women.
Manju Kapur’s Difficult Daughters & The Immigrants