The emergence of “New Woman”: Two Novels, Two Writers, Two Continents - A Comparative Study

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Latha Anandan, Dr. Kodhandaraman Chinnathambi


Merely generalizing postcolonial literature as one that contests colonial power, knowledge and representation and marks the cultural independence of subjugated populations will obscure specific gender issues.  Along this side, Weedon and McEwan point out that approaching ‘feminism’ in a universal sense is likely to conceal the differences between feminism and postcolonial feminism/third world feminism.  Postcolonial writers, despite having obvious differences in their approaches, nevertheless display some similarities in their attitude towards issues related to marital life and traditional structures that bind women. In order to highlight these similarities, this paper attempts a comparative study of the Indian woman writer Rajam Krishnan’s Lamps in the Whirlpool and the Australian woman writer Ada Cambridge’s Sisters. It examines how despite the differences in geography, culture and lived experiences, the two writers from two different continents, through the medium of characters in their novels, deal similarly with (a) issues related to the institutions of marriage, (b) conflicts between inherited values and new values, and (c) the idea of “New Woman”.

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