Female Body in Select Indian English Novels: Representations and Possibilities
This paper attempts to highlight the tension lying between the lived bodily experiences of women, and the predefined cultural entanglements which condition and shape those experiences. Unlike men, women suffer much particularly for and with their bodies. This raises a crucial question regarding the ontology of their sufferings. Body, the biological location of humans distinguishes between the sexes and appropriates the cultural inscriptions. But how does the corporeality facilitates the conflation of chromosomal sex with the categories of gender? How do women relate to these entanglements and make sense of their bodies? A critical study of Indian English novels, from the mid-19th century to the successive periods, demonstrates how female body has been imagined and represented under the trajectory of such difficulties, and how in course of time these representations have changed. Interestingly, despite the palpable changes, one thing remains static – the disagreement between the lived experiences of women about their bodies and the way it is perceived in a given cultural situation.
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