Authors: Renu Gupta
Abstract: The paper attempts to analyse Namita Gokhale’s seventh and latest novel Things to Leave Behind (2016) from a feminist perspective even though the novel is being hailed as a historical novel. The paper begins with a brief analysis of feminism as a transformational process to change the society’s as well as women’s own perception of themselves as weak, docile and passive bodies. Dwelling on the patriarchal manipulation of the linkage between the female body and socio-cultural practices, the paper intends to draw attention to the dominantly prevalent and inextricably interlinked images (like womanhood, wifehood and motherhood) to control female bodies and lives. Then the analysis proceeds to link chief objectives of feminism and Gokhale’s feminist point of view with her creative attempt to re-write ‘body’ through the narrative of three generations of women — Durga Devi, Tilottama and Deoki — and other supporting women characters like Kaumodi and Mary Jane Boden. The focus of the paper is on the spirited desire and efforts of these women to interrogate patriarchal structures and fixed gender images, rules and roles, a significant aspect of all feminisms and women writings.
Keywords: Feminist Discourse; body; construction; perception; images; subversion