Dr. Tukaram S. Sawant

Associate Professor

Tuljaram Chaturchand College of Arts, Science and

Commerce, Baramati,






Shashi Deshpande, the Sahitya Academy Award winning Indian woman novelist in English, began her literary career with the publication of her first short story in 1970. Her first novel, The Dark Holds No Terrors published in 1980, brought her a lot of praise and admiration. She has written eleven novels and she has been awarded Padma Shri for her significant contribution she made in the field of Indian English novel. In addition to her novels, she has written four children’s books and essays available in a volume, Writing from the Margin and Other Stories. Her novels are made out of her observations and experiences of the life of educated middle-class Indian women caught in the trap of Indian patriarchy. As a popular Indian woman novelist, she is basically concerned with the theme of human relationships, in general, and husband-wife relationships, in particular. She strongly believes that it is necessary for women to live within relationships which, to a large extent, are responsible for their sorrows and sufferings, pain and agony, plight and predicament before as well as after their marriage.  In a man-woman relationship, women are made to play a secondary and inferior role. They are denied the place and status equal to their male-counterparts. Deshpande, whose novels are rooted in Indian soil and context, expresses her concern about middle-class Indian women who are the victims of social evils such as gender-discrimination and marital-violence. She has raised a voice of protest against a patriarchal attitude to women in a contemporary Indian male-centric society. The present article intends to narrate a painful story of marital-violence imposed on middle-class Indian women narrated in the novel, The Dark Holds No Terrors.

Key words: aggressive, exploitation, gender-discrimination, marital-violence, patriarchy,

subordination, violent.

Shashi Deshpande’s The Dark Holds No Terrors: A Painful Story of

Marital Violence