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Title: Surpanakha’s Mutilation or That of Womanhood? An Inquiry into Two Feminist Retellings
Authors: De, Anindita
Keywords: Ramayana
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Vidyasagar University , Midnapore , West Bengal , India
Series/Report no.: Journal of the Department of English;Vol 13 No 1 [2020]
Abstract: Traditional mythological narratives have been chiefly dominated by male writers and reflect patriarchal ideologies. Revisionist mythmaking is a process of re-explication of patriarchal myths; it is the substitution of female elements from margin to centre. The central motif of the re-tellers is to break down the preconceived fabrication of woman and womanhood. The female revisionist writers of the Ramayana have attempted to give voice to the ignored or peripheral women of the mainstream epic through the lens of feminism. They have discovered many hidden shades of Surpanakha who is nothing but a fearsome demon in Valmiki Ramayana and also have questioned patriarchal prejudices through her eyes. In their retellings, she has been represented as a love-thirsty woman who has been mutilated by patriarchy for her bold expression of her erotic desires. The paper focuses on the mutilation scene of Surpanakha and attempts to investigate how these feminist perspectives have inquired into her character in different ways. Two retellings- Lanka’s Princessby Kavita Kane and “Rajkumari Kamaballi” by Nabanita Debsen have been selected for the study. The objective of the paper is to analyse how these feminist discourses of the epic have delineated the mutilation episode and raised questionson women’s position in a male dominated world and also to investigate how the female re- tellers have attempted to expose the sexist stereotyping of women in Ramayana and advocated gender consciousness through their re-interpretation of Surpanakha and re- evaluation of Sita-Surpanakha dichotomy.
ISSN: 09733671
Appears in Collections:Journal of the Department of English - Vol 13 No 1 [2020]

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