Dr. K. Ponnari Lakshmi
Professor and Head, Dept of English
Narasaraopeta Engineering College
Indian society is a patriarchal society where the male is dominant and woman is subservient. It has created both protective and prohibitive fences for woman for centuries. For centuries they are behind the curtains and are expected to be meek, passive, servile, docile, gentle and patient obeying the commands of men. No value is assigned to their intellectual fecundities but to their bodies.
Virginia Woolf bemoans the position of woman as:
Imaginatively she is of the highest importance; practically she is completely insignificant, she pervades poetry from cover to cover, she is all but absent from history. She dominates the lives of kings and conquerors in fiction; in fact she was the slave of any boy whose parents forced a ring upon her finger. Some of the most inspired words, some of the most profound thoughts in literature fall from her lips; in real life she could hardly read, could scarcely spell and was the property of her husband (66).
The freedom movement in India brought about positive changes in the condition of Indian women and the western education influenced many writers to write on the problems of widows, the concept of re-marriage etc. After years of suppression in the shackles of orthodoxy and superstition, women in India in this period found a new opportunity for education and participation in public life.