Silent Struggles: Women in Salma’s The Hour Past Midnight
Keywords:Resistance, Patriarchy, Misogyny, Religion, Culture
The paper intends to analyse the heroic lives of Muslim women, who are oppressed in the name of culture, tradition, and religion through a textual analysis of the novel The Hour Past Midnight, written by the Tamil writer Salma and translated by Lakshmi Holmstrom. The paper explores the struggles faced by the hero(in)es in the novel. Originally written in Tamil, and entitled Irandaam Jaamathin Kadhai, the novel depicts the challenging lives of Muslim women living in a cloistered space. The novel narrates the incidents in the lives of Rabia, her mother Zohra; Rahima, Wahida, Firdaus, Mumtaz, Farida and some other women of the neighbourhood. All of them are victims of the misogynist and patriarchal mind-set of their community. Some of these women stay silent, and endure every kind of pain and suffering with extreme patience and resilience. Others choose to defy the norms which are set for them and live on their terms. They stand up for their individuality, rights, and dignity. Each of these women, nonetheless, demonstrates heroic courage, fortitude, resilience, and resistance. By facing the predicament of their lives boldly, and by challenging the patriarchal institutions, these characters demonstrate that each of them is an individual full of potential.
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