The Image of New Woman as Portrayed in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Novel The Lowland
Keywords:Gender equality, New Woman, Diaspora and Self- identity
The last decade of the Victorian era witnessed a major shift in the social attitude of the woman. It was a break away from the patriarchal system, and women emerging as independent being and moving towards achieving gender equality. The ‘New Woman’ is considered as a precursor to the feminist movement and thus the legacy of New Woman lives on to this day. Jhumpa Lahiri, the significant writer of the Indian diaspora has emerged on the global literary scene with her remarkable writings. The novel has a compelling plot of family relations. It delineates the tender fraternal bond between Subhash and Udayan and how it gets affected by the various paths they chose in their lives. This intensely emotional tale unfolds diverse dimensions of the woman caught in the predicament of conservative cultural practices at home, political unrest in society and the life of an exile in the immigrant land. It also explores Gauri’s expression of identity, her struggle with love, Bela’s choice for individuality and pragmatism in life has turned the novel into a unique narrative. In her second novel, ‘The Lowland’ Jhumpa portrays her women characters devaluing the patriarchal setup. They break the myths of womanhood and motherhood. Prominence is given to assert their position in society by restoring self-identity than nurturing deeper family relations. They fight with courage and confront various challenges in their marital relationship.
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Mishra, Binod, Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland: A Narrative Pattern of a Broken Family, IlluminatiJanuary 1, 2016, Illuminati, 58-66,6
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