Subsistence in Distress: The Protagonist’s Confrontation in Shashi Deshpande’s “That Long Silence”


  • Dr. P. SARADHA Associate Professor Vinayaka Mission’s Kirupananda Variyar Engineering College, Vinayaka Missions Research Foundation (Deemed to be University) Salem, Tamil Nadu, India.
  • Dr. P. RAJINI Assistant Professor Periyar University Constituent College of Arts and Science Periyar University. Idappadi, Salem, Tamil Nadu, India.


 The inequity, the hostility, the subordination and the overthrow caused to women are the armaments that the writers of women offered to protest and revolt. The writers of women are open-minded with awareness to bring change in custom, culture and society. It is Virginia Wolf, Simon de Beauvoir and many more from the west have come as a response for the command of men. Indian women writers like Kamala Das, Anita Desai, Shashi Deshpande etc came forward after 1960 to battle for the rights of women. Shashi Deshpande’s That Long Silence explores emphatically the theme of women’s overthrow. Jaya, the protagonist in the novel suffers in the institution of marriage. In general women suffer everything without protesting which has caused their subjugation. Shashi Deshpande’s writing has engaged the readers in exploring the feministic dilemmas encountered by her women. She has shaped a position in the literary prospect of English fiction. She has authorized women to exist from the struggles adhered by the family and the society. Shashi Deshpande basically reflects on the problems and concerns of the middle class Indian women. The male dominance signifies the patriarchal culture in the family relationship between Jaya and her husband Mohan.  The result of marriage led Jaya to surrender into frustration, discard and disharmony in absence of love than sex. The traditional, institution of Indian family does not have gender equality. Male member of the family is permitted to enjoy all sorts of comforts and excuse whereas female member has to sacrifice her life keeping silence, suppressing emotions and desires.


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