Dismantling Patriarchal Slavery in Ismat Chughtai’s ‘The Quilt’
Keywords:Patriarchal Domination, Slavery, Lesbianism, Prostitution, Subjugation
The present paper evaluates the dismantling of patriarchal slavery in Ismat Chughtai’s ‘The Quilt’ through J.S Mill and Woolstonecraft’s observation of marriage. For J.S. Mill, marriage is another domain of patriarchal domination. It is not a sacred institution based on the equality of both the sexes. Women have to sacrifice their whole life in the service of men. Rather it imposes restrictions on women and they become the mere slaves for their husbands. The paper also examines Wollstonecraft’s views of marriage as she exposes the fact that marriage is a ‘legal prostitution’ and women ‘may be convenient slaves’. According to her, men used to marry in order to escape from any sort of sexual disease. Wives are merely safer and more convenient prostitutes to satisfy the sexual pleasure of husbands. The character of Begum Jaan in ‘The Quilt’ reflects the frustrations of married women. Her husband seems to be more interested in young boys and treats her as an object and not as a human being. It represents the irony present in her life. In order to degrade herself as a non-existent being in her own house, she finds solace in a lesbian relationship with her maid. It seems to be Chughtai’s urge to break down the traditional properties of women. Chughtai used the lesbianism as a woman’s way of overcoming the emotional void on her by her husband.