The Role Of Women In The Dark Room By R. K Narayan

Decent Essays

R.K. Narayan is not a feminist even then he has shown his sympathy for the exploited and oppressed class of women in Indian society. The helplessness and miserable condition of a Hindu housewife is brought to the forefront in Narayan’s The Dark Room. In an interview Narayan explained, “In The Dark Room I was concerned with showing the utter dependence of women on man in society. I suppose I have moved along with the times.”1 By survival, Narayan does not mean continuity of mere physical existence, but a striving for dignity in the battle with society and circumstances. His protagonist Savitri is a victim of either man, or of authority, or of a particular social set-up. Today, a women’s goals are expressively defined, first her indignation …show more content…

Narayan’s The Dark Room shows us a more somber atmosphere. The novelist draws here the poignant picture of a South Indian middle class family, in which the wife’s life becomes much of a hell, because of the frequent fits of resentment and annoyance of her capricious and refractory husband, Ramani. In The Dark Room, the happiness or unhappiness, and quiet and disquiet of the household depend mainly on the mood and temper of the husband, Ramani. In the house, the servants, Children and even the wife are certainly in a state of extreme fear due to the domineering and cynical nature of Mr. Ramani. The appointment of Shanta Bai in Ramani’s office produces more misfortune to the wife, Savitri. Unable to endure any more, Savitri, in a fit of disappointment and rage leaves the house of her husband one midnight to drown herself into the river, …show more content…

Narayan shows us as to how the husband is like God in the Indian household and women have to accept whatever fate has done to them. This is the cause that the priest, in charge of the temple, gives the advice, “If she won’t let rest, thrash her that is the way to keep women safe. In these days you fellows are mugs, and let your women ride you about” (p.100). Thus, Savitri feels nothing is her own and even her children are her husband’s absolutely, “You paid the midwife and the nurse. You pay for their clothes and teachers. You are right. Don’t I say that a woman owns nothing” (p. 77)? Savitri, in an effort to assert to her individuality, revolts and leaves home only to retreat and compromise with the situation. Here the novelist has tried to infuse confidence and seed of rebellion in Savitri. Savitri represents thousands of other Indian housewives who are depressed and helpless creatures in the hands of their husbands. When Savitri prohibits her son to school due to illness, she is humiliated by her husband, “Mind your own business, do you hear…” (p. 5). Savitri miserable thinks over the problem of her existence: “How important at home and that after fifteen years of married life” (p. 8). This is not only the case of Savitri but also the case of other housewives who lead their life under the complete hegemony of their husbands. The social status of an Indian housewife is evaluated at the end of the novel. The condition of women is reflected from Savitri’s voice,

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