2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

Mother as Both Caretaker and Protector: Rehana Haque's Empowerment in Tahmima Anam's A Golden Age (2007)
Rachel R. Mertens
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Grounded in the historical context of the 1971 Bangladesh War of Independence, Tahmima Anam's novel A Golden Age (2007) portrays the transformation of Rehana Haque, the mother of two teenagers, Sohail and Maya. Both join in on the war effort, Sohail as a guerilla fighter and Maya as a war journalist. Rehana's loss of control over her childrens political activities parallels the beginning of her path to independence. This paper will analyze the ways in which the novel traces the trajectory of Rehana's empowerment, engendered by both the Bangladesh War of Independence and the loss of her husband. It will further show how both the war and the loss of her husband challenge her, enabling and affirming her confidence in accepting responsibilities not only as caretaker but protector as well, a role she would not have had if her husband were still alive.

Keywords: Gender, War, Woman Studies

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 102-2
Location: VH 1000
Time: 8:15

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