Ambai’s Burdensome Days: A vision of female emancipation
Postcolonial literature is an attempt at understanding and critiquing the colonial rule with the aim of attaining an egalitarian society. However, though the colonial rule has ended, marginalization within the native land has not come to an end. In particular, marginalization of women in previously colonized space is not at all over. Women are still oppressed by the patriarchal forces. In a country like India, where democracy is propagated, it is still evinced that women suffer gender inequality. And this issue of marginalisation is rightly discussed in postcolonial Literature by women writers themselves. These postcolonial women writers adopting the perspective of feminism suggest decolonisation of the female self as a solution to the oppression caused to women at the familial and social level. Meanwhile, it is also to be noted that there remains a difference between Western and Third World feminism, in that the former demands freedom and rights at the economic and political level, while the Third â€“ World women try gaining access to freedom and their rights by maintaining a balance between the home and their desires at socio-economic-political front. Therefore Third-world postcolonial writings focus more on this flux in women who yearn for liberty. Postcolonial Indian Writing in English prior to the millennium and even in the 20th and 21st century has always dealt with womenâ€Ÿs issue with much sensitivity. And hence a postcolonial feminist reading of these texts point to the resistance, negotiation and retrieval of female identity and emancipation from the patriarchal constructs. One such 21st century Postcolonial Indian Writing is Ambaiâ€Ÿs short story collection a night with a black spider. The collection which comprises of 17 stories has a story named Burdensome Days which discusses the trauma that the protagonist Bhramara undergoes in her marital life. Constantly silenced by her husband and her in-laws under the pretext of maintaining Tamil cultural values, her music is used as a commodity and patriarchy enforces its upper hand till she understands her oppressive state and calls of her marriage to get emancipated and moves in with her parents who always have given her the choice to live a life of liberty.
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