Empowerment of Women characters in ManjuKapur’s Difficult Daughters

The desire to house an identity is inherent in every human being. It is a
state of mind that differentiates a person from others and it may be
defined as a person’s own sense of self. For a girl, this quest for
identity begins from the day she is born. She may be born in India or in
any other part of the globe. There is no room for her personality, her
mind and her desire. Virtues like patience, sacrifice, tolerance,
humbleness and submissiveness should be ingrained in a woman as she
is acceptable only with these virtues, whereas man is free to go
otherwise. This identity crisis will always be there in a woman who
desires to be someone. Portia in Hamlet says, “We know what we are,
but not what we may be” (Shakespeare 64). Hence, in order to get some
recognition a woman will have to break the boundaries of
discrimination, in a society which is gender biased and encourages
gender inequality. This scuffle to prove oneself is born not only in the
main protagonist (Virmati) in Manju Kapur’s Difficult Daughters
(1998) but also in several other women characters of the novel. In
Difficult Daughters Kapur presents “the existential predicaments of
women and their identity crisis, aspiration and frustration when they try
to achieve self-identity in life” (Web 21 Sept 2016).
Manju Kapur’s women characters challenge the stereotypes created by
men. They are seen as women struggling against all odds. They are
shackled by the strong bars of traditional patriarchal norms; even then
they rebel against the accepted and existing moral codes and social
norms. “Manju Kapur’s novel enables us to get the impression that
women’s life is just like love of a nation which is passing through….

Dr. Neeta Singh C/o Mr. Vijay Thakur, House No.485, Near Him Academy Public School,
Hiranagar, Hamirpur, Mobile: 94590 93055

Dr. Sandhya Sharma, Associate Professor in English, Govt. Degree College, Theog,
Shimla, Mobile No -98169 67019 sandhyasharma1020@gmail.com

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