Aesthetic Consciousness in Tehmina Durrani’s My Feudal Lord


  • Diksha Bhagat Research Scholar Department of English University of Jammu, J&K 180006 India


Literature is a source of appreciation of the beauty of life and its experiences as described by Rebeca West: “Literature must be an analysis of experience and a synthesis of the findings into a unity†(qtd. in Huff). Thus, literature glorifies the aesthetic sense of a piece of work and appreciates its beauty and its uniqueness: “As an art, literature is the organisation of words to give pleasure; through them it elevates and transforms experience; through them it functions in society as a continuing symbolic criticism or values†(Rexroth). Feminist scholarship which also affects philosophical writing has developed two specific areas: one which involves the use of female body as in performance art and the other in the representation of women as objects of beauty in contrast to age-old concept established by male artists, in which women are depicted as passive, silent, voiceless and willing sources of sexual gratification and pleasure. Feminist aesthetics have themselves made their bodies as an instrument to challenge the historical oppression, and have taken up the charge and control over depiction of themselves and that too, within a profoundly distinct vantage ground. Thus, a new awareness among women related to their bodies due to feminist aestheticism have led to usher a completely new concept of beauty and also, various new uses of female body in subverting the past oppression. Thus, feminist aesthetics has led feminism to another level, as they see female body as a source of acquiring power and potential rather than confining it to a mere thing of beauty and passivity. In this paper an attempt is made to highlight how Tehmina Durrani in her autobiography My Feudal Lord: A Devastating Indictment of Women’s Role in Muslim Society has over turned the power structures prevalent in Pakistani society. Besides, she has beautifully portrayed how she transformed her self completely from a passive and voiceless woman who was only valued for her physical beauty to a respectable person having an independent identity.


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