Portrayal of Female Characters in Train to Pakistan: An Anti-Feminist, Reader-Response Exploration
Keywords:Femme Fatale, Objectification, Woman as Reader Approach, Patriarchy, Feminist Perspective
The study explores the portrayal of women in Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh. The study examines the ideological assumptions of patriarchy through the representation of women as being seductive and angelic characters by a male author through the lens of Reader-Response Theory along with the Anti-Feminist Theory. The study analyzes the novel from the prospective of a female reader to investigate the tone of the writer to assess how unrealistically female characters are presented in the novel. Khushwant Singh has presented the women traditionally in negative roles, negating all kinds of freedom and liberation to them. He has presented the women as alluring and charming whose purpose is to get the attention of the men for the sake of getting money, by completely negating the lustful and manipulative nature of the men who are exploiting women by taking benefit of their weakness. Nooran has been presented as unfaithful and disloyal to her father because of having an illicit relationship with a dacoit. Haseena is presented as a sixteen-year-old prostitute, serving a man as old as her father just to get money. Juggut’s mother is an angelic woman who is serving her child, enduring his all kinds of disrespect, insults, and humiliations. The study proves to be significant to understand the general and typical view of the men towards the women as the ones whose primary role is to serve their male counterparts socially, physically, emotionally, and sexually and to be faithful and committed to them.
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