2009-10 AM Fictions of India - Expert Group on Gender

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Expert Group on Gender

Group: Representations of Gender


Kim

- Keep in mind: Double iconography of the Hindu female

- Alternative female figures:

- Kim‘s caretaker (takes opium)

- The Kulu woman (“She was already ordering, haranguing, rebuking, and it must be said, cursing her servants for delays” (p. 74)

      • Dominant BUT benevolent character (nurses Kim back to health, cf. “Mother, I [Kim] owe my life to thee.” (p. 277)

- Huneefa ( portrayed witch-like, cf. p. 179)

- The Woman of Shamlegh (dominating personality in her village, cf. p. 256 and pp. 263-264)


Untouchable

- Keep in mind: Double iconography of the Hindu female


- Female characters that meet the traditional ideal of a devote woman:

- Bakha‘s mother

“He [Bakha] often thought of his mother [...], crouching as she went about cooking and cleaning the home, a bit too old-fashioned for his then already growing modern tastes, [...] it seemed that she was not of his world, had no connection with it.“ (p. 14)

- Sohini tries to replace her mother, inferior role

“[...] he saw that his [Bakha’s] sister was trying to light a fire between two bricks. She was blowing hard at it [...] as she crouched on the mud floor. [...]. She sat back helpless [...]. (p. 21)

“Her father was abusing her, as he now sat on his bed, puff-puffing away at the cane tube [...]” (p. 31)

- Other minor female characters are also bound to the household


Midnight's Children

- Focus on representation of Indian Muslim women

- Dominant characters who possess power to a varying degree and within a certain sector

        - Naseem: conservative, religious, dominant partner within the relationship to Aadam;  
          avoids contact to Western culture


        - Jamila: comes into contact with Christianity, becomes role model of “pure” Pakistan 


        - Padma: […], active audience of Saleem
-> The meaning of “Padma” is “dung”: Why might the author have chosen this name for one of his major female characters?