Portrayal of Female Characters in Train to Pakistan: An anti-feminist and Reader-Response Perspective
The study aims at exploring the portrayal of women in “Train to Pakistan” by Khushwant Singh. It is aimed to understand the way the female characters are represented as seductress, femme fatal, and as the angels by a male author through the lens of Reader-Response Theory along with the Anti-Feminist Theory. Being an anti-feminist, Khushwant Singh has presented the women traditionally in negative roles, negating all kinds of freedom and liberation to them. The study examines the ideological assumptions of patriarchy through the representation of women as being seductive and angelic characters. The writer 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. He has presented Nooran 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 a good woman who is serving her child, enduring his all kinds of disrespect, insults, and humiliations. The study proves to be significant in order to understand the general and typical view of the men towards the women as the ones whose primary and only role is to serve their male counterparts socially, physically, emotionally, and sexually and to be faithful and loyal to them.
Keywords: Seductress, Femme Fatale, Submissive, Objectification, Reader-Response Theory, Anti-Feminist Theory, Woman as Reader Approach, Patriarchy
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