Journey of Emancipation in R. K. Narayan’s Heroines
Keywords:Emancipation, Docile, Education, Independence
R.K. Narayan conforms to his times and during the period he wrote, there was a radical change in the status of women. Moreover, he maintains an objective detachment from his themes and characters. However detached he is from his characters, it is possible to draw out a conception that the portrayal of women characters takes a definite shape through his novels. As we read his novels, we can trace a gradual transition of his women characters from silence to speech. His pre-independence novels like Swami and Friends, The English Teacher, Dark Room have women who are submissive and docile even though they nurture the desire for liberation. But, R. K. Narayan was a genius to picturise the ordinary middle-class milieu. Narayan takes a different attitude in portraying his post-independence heroines. The middle-class is considered the citadel of tradition but has shown its heroines courageously negotiating their way out from stereotyped notions about women and their roles. His women who are presented as votaries of emancipation educate themselves, long for economic independence and do not hesitate in leaving their parents or dumping their husbands and lovers in their search for individual identity and desired happiness.
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