ARTICULATING THE GENDERED WOMAN SUBJECT THROUGH ALTER NARRATIVES OF DRAUPADI: A COMPARATIVE READING OF PRATHIBHA RAYS YAGNASENI AND CHITRA BANERJEE DIVAKARUNISTHE PALACE OF ILLUSIONSJournal: International Journal of Advanced Research (Vol.11, No. 04)
Publication Date: 2023-04-14
Authors : Prathyaksh Janardhanan;
Page : 882-891
Keywords : Gender Agency Narratives Draupadi;
Gender as a conceptual and epistemological category for sociological and academic debate has always spurred contestable narratives, which might not be binary in nature. The fact that the category continues to spark the ashes of resistance in itself is a testimony for the need to further these debates and discussions. Indian epics, which are the repository of stories, due to its genre based palimpsest narratives culminate in the silencing of vital voices from within the macro narratives of the text. Further since epics have predominantly focused on the exploits of men. Women charecters in the epics are relegated to the role of the muse and the source of inspiration and strength for the hero. The character of Draupadi is an aberration in this sense of articulation. While her portrayal in the epic has been along the lines of a self-willed, headstrong woman who dragged an entire illustrious race to the decadence of war and annihilation, several character based rewritings of the epic have attempted to create alternative narratives or alter narratives to contest the biased patriarchal macro narratives which attempt to frame Draupadi as the reason for the genocide of a race. This paper offers a comparative reading of several rewritings and works on Draupadi with specific focus on Prathibha Rays Yagnaseni and Chitra Banerjee Divakarunis The Palace of Illusions to argue how alternative narratives as showcased in these novels help articulate a new alter narrative voice for the gendered subject, through which she is enabled the agency to create new narratives of resistance to combat the macro epistemic narratives created by the larger framework of a patriarchal ecosystem.
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