Articulation of the Feminine Voice: A Study of That Long Silence
That Long Silence, which won Shashi Deshpande the Sahitya Akademi Award for 1990, tells the story of an Indian housewife, who maintains silence throughout her life. The novel ends with her resolve to speak, to break her long silence. The novel is a protest against the limitation of Women’s lives. The issues and problems of contemporary middle class woman have always been the subject matter of Shashi Deshpande’s writings. This paper seeks to study the feminist perspective in Shashi Deshpande’s novel That Long Silence.Although many women writers tried their hand at expressing this long silence that had turned woman into non-entities, they could only provide psychological depths to their characters. They either created unreal sentimental romances or finally succumbed to the temptation of mouthing feminist ideology. But Shashi Deshpande’s success lies in her representation of real life experience. She realistically depicts the inner conflicts of Jaya and her quest for the self or identity.She has woven the tragic tales of Jaya’s relations and her acquaintances into the texture of the novel, and so the novel inevitably takes on a feminist character. The novel is about gross gender discrimination and inequality prevalent in society.
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