Reading Against the Grain-Unveiling Men in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s Sister of My Hearts and The Vine of Desires
Keywords:Narcissistic Parents, Psychological Invalidation, Lack, Guilty Conscience, Rejection
It may be startling, but this paper is intended to unearth the presence of men in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s fiction world. Divakaruni is generally read with reference to women and their experiences but reading her works otherwise is equally interesting. In Sister of My Hearts (1999) and its sequel The Vine of Desires (2003) the ‘unapologetically feminist’ writer has given some of the most compassionate male characters, in spite of herself. In this fiction duo there are six major male characters including typical male chauvinists Mr.Majumdar, enigmatic Sunil, intimidated Ramesh, remorseful Singhji, a real man Ashok and philanthropist Lalit. A “psychosocial” investigation is sure to win sympathy, forgiveness, love, admiration and respect for these male characters who may appear misogynists if viewed from feministic lens. This paper is also an inquiry into the fact that feminist writers are not essentially man-haters.
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