2015 Student Research Conference:
28th Annual Student Research Conference

Defining and Defying Gender Roles in Mahasweta Devis Giribala
Alexander C. Moellering
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Mahasweta Devi's work of fiction, Giribala (1982), displays the gender roles and discrimination that existed in West Bengal, India. The aspects and disturbing flaws of a strictly patriarchal society are revealed through a fictional setting. The story concerns the life of Giribala, a young woman from a lower-class family in India. She marries Aulchand, an incompetent man with poor self-control and questionable morals. The gender-based discrimination that Giribala is faced with appears throughout the story, through the traditional sayings about women and the power of men over her life. Additionally, the horrendous decisions of Aulchand to sell his daughters into the sex trade and the accepting response of his civilization toward this action stand in stark contrast to their disapproval toward Giribala fleeing home in an attempt to protect her remaining children. Giribalas rebellion against the norms of her society express the danger and power of nonconformity and defiance.

Keywords: Giribala, Gender Roles, Postcolonial Literature, Institutionalized Discrimination, Facing Adversity, Willful Ignorance, Mahasweta Devi, India

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 403-3
Location: VH 1224
Time: 3:00

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