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Disquisition Of Women Characters In Amitav Ghosh’s The Glass Palace

757 words - 3 pages

Amitav Ghosh has undoubtedly occupied an undefeatable position in the galaxy of Indian writers in English. He has contributed immensely to make Indian writings acclaimed worldwide. Most of his writings involve the themes of exile, cultural displacement, revolution, emigration, dislocation, loss of identity, uprooting that characterizes into historical novels. He recuperates the irony, disillusionment, dilemma and ambiguity of human condition of bygone era through his language. He masterfully connects the complex flow of time with his researched narrative. As a writer of historical fiction, he delves deeply in an introspective exploration of self and the society with much eloquence. Ghosh is laudable for handling his highly celebrated stories and exploring characters.

The Glass Palace, an international bestseller won Ghosh the Grand Prize for Fiction at the Frankfurt International E-Book Awards. He declined the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Fiction for the book, objecting its classification as part of Commonwealth Literature. The Glass Palace opens in Mandalay in 1885 and the story moves between Burma, India and Malaya spreading across several generations covering the histories of these countries. In this novel Ghosh weaves his narrative around the life of his protagonist in the manner of a bildungsroman. The text narrates the story of an orphan, Raj Kumar Raha, an Indian migrant to Burma, his budding romance and marriage with the Burmese royal maid, Dolly and his rise and then fall as a successful businessman. His plight in the context of the Burmese history of the British invasion into Burma and its subsequent colonial rule, his temporary migration, dislocation and experience of loss, exile and a search for home and return to his country as a destitute . It unfolds the stories of families with the twists and turns in life having diverse effects on the characters.

The portrayal of the female characters in the most skillfully written novel The Glass Palace (2000) is a worth discussing. Amitav Ghosh uses the medium of writing fiction to create and articulate an iconic status for women. He doesn’t portray women as merely puppets struck in the strings of patriarchal society but delineate them as the leading spirits. His female characters are combination of real life images found in all the layers of the society. On one hand, he brings out the trauma...


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