The motif of objectification of women is omnipresent in the two novels. When Shyam in “Mistress”

600 WordsApr 23, 20193 Pages
The motif of objectification of women is omnipresent in the two novels. When Shyam in “Mistress” speaks or thinks of his wife, he always refers to her as to "my Radha." To him it is totally natural to want to exercise control over her, from the way she dresses to her behaviour in society to the most intimate aspects of her life. His records of Radha's period, mentioned several times throughout the text, are a symbol of his attempts to control her life. To tell her what to do in her free time is as normal for Shyam as to tell her how to dress her hair and what colour of sari to wear. A similar attitude can be observed in “Namesake” in Ashima's relationship to Ashok. Radha in “Mistress” is another character whose reputation made her marry…show more content…
Such is the case of Radha, for whom marriage was the only way to recuperate her family's good name after her affair, as well as the only way to avoid becoming a spinster that nobody would ever want to socialises with because of her damaged reputation. Such is also the case of Ashima who married a man she did not even pretend "to be in love with. She married yet resenting her husband for having married her and making her live a life she would not have chosen herself. She just weighed the odds and accepted. Being an old maid was not an option anyone could choose, rather a destiny that was advisable to avoid at any cost. In return for playing well the role of the wives, the women are promised to be looked after. The looking after is fitted to the male point of view, as is described in “Mistress” in Uncle's conversation with his guests about why he keeps Malini, his bird, in a cage. How different is it [keeping a bird in a cage] different from keeping your wife and daughters at home? Isn't that a cage, too? And he, for it is always a man, would laugh in disbelief. "How can you compare the two? Birds are meant to be free." "And women are not?" "Women need to be looked after," he would tell me, and his eyes would demand: What do you know about it? You don't have a wife or children to worry about.3 (Nair 74)3 Hardly ever are there any higher expectations mentioned that women are supposed to meet in the relationship to their husbands, be it

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