The Role of Women Characters in the Select Novels of Salman Rushdie

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Ashutosh Kumar Yadav
Prof. Sanjoy Saxena


Salman Rushdie, a postmodernist immigrant, is considered as one the greatest novelist of the 20th century. His apt use of magical realism, incorporates mythology, religion, history, fantasy, and humor into the real world. He narrates his life story and relates it to the national history of India. Rushdie uses the magical realist technique to deal about the postcolonial people of India, and various postcolonial issues. His writing focuses on India’s history, politics, and identity as seen through his narrators. There is a blending of fantasy and reality with his fantastical fiction. Salman Rushdie presents women as strong characters to break free from their oppressive roles through his works. He develops strong female characters who face life with great fortitude and strength rather than meek personality. This research article critically investigates the role of women characters in selected novels by the acclaimed author, Salman Rushdie. A corpus of three major works—Midnight’s Children, The Satanic Verses, and Shame—has been selected for detailed analysis. The study aims to illuminate the varying dimensions of women’s representation, their influence, and the evolution of their roles in these narratives, serving as mirrors to the sociopolitical realities of their time. The article applies a combined theoretical framework of feminist literary criticism and postcolonial discourse to unpack the intricate characterizations and their wider implications. Findings reveal that Rushdie’s women characters are often depicted as multi-dimensional, complex individuals who actively influence the plot and resist conforming to traditional roles. They embody strength, resilience, and liberation in the face of cultural, political, and religious adversities, breaking the mold of passive feminine stereotypes. Despite being enmeshed within patriarchal societal structures, these characters often subvert normative constraints, highlighting the intersection of gender, power, and resistance in Rushdie’s novels. Through the use of magical realism, Rushdie juxtaposes reality with the fantastical, further challenging conventional expectations of women in literature. Rushdie’s depiction of women provides significant insights into the complexities of postcolonial feminist identities, societal norms, and cultural heritage. His novels, while being grounded in their specific contexts, resonate on a universal scale, enriching the discourse around the representation of women in literature.


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How to Cite
Ashutosh Kumar Yadav, and Prof. Sanjoy Saxena. “The Role of Women Characters in the Select Novels of Salman Rushdie”. The Creative Launcher, vol. 8, no. 3, June 2023, pp. 67-73, doi:10.53032/tcl.2023.8.3.08.
Research Articles


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