Gender Nonconformity and Casting around Individuality, Free Will and Survival: Sharat Chandra’s Women in His Novel Srikanta


  • Sultana Jahan International Islamic University Chittagong



Gender Nonconformity, Individuality, Free Will, Sharat Chandra


The present paper is a sincere effort to explore the image of Indian women in the early 19th century social context as depicted in Sharat Chandra’s  novel Srikanta. In this novel Sharat Chandra’s  portrayal  of  women  characters-  Rajlaksmii,  Annada,    Abhaya  ,  and  Kamal Lata  assert    their  individuality, self-worth  and    deliverances  boldly  in  the  then  male-controlled  and traditional society. These characters are unwavering and resolute enough to cast around an emancipated futuristic outlook. They are all precursors to the later day women characters depicted by the feminist writers. Sharat chandra is not a feminist in the traditional sense nor does he take the side of forceful assertion of women rights but he shows    a  significant  understanding  of  woman  psyche  and  to  a  great  extent, protests against  social  and  religious  double  standard  that  ultimately  results  in  gender nonconformity.  He  values humanity more than chastity  and raises his voice against traditional  morality  and religious dogmatism  in depicting  illicit  love relationship  and in disclosing  the deceptions  underlying  the established  marriage  custom. To all  female  characters, Rajlaksmi,  Annada,Kamal  Lata,  and  Abhay,  marriage  fails  to provide  congenial atmosphere  to love and value each other;  rather to them, marriage is nothing but  religious  and social yolk that come up with patriarchal applaud   but result in self-deception. This paper is an attempt to elucidate Sharat Chandra’s unconventional idea of chastity and reversed roles of women going deep into the female characters of this novel who fearlessly look down on the patriarchal impediments.

Author Biography

  • Sultana Jahan, International Islamic University Chittagong

    Assistant Professor

    Department of English Language and Literature


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