Memoirs of Two Marginalized Women: A Comparative Study of a Life Less Ordinary and The Truth About Me – A Hijra Life Story
The IUP Journal of English Studies, Vol. VIII, No. 2, June 2013, pp. 22-29
Posted: 30 Oct 2013
Date Written: October 30, 2013
Feminist scholars have long asserted the value of memoirs to explore feminine subjectivities and give the readers a sense of the difficulties involved in the diverse processes of self-actualization that every woman undertakes in her given space. Revathi and Baby’s narratives are significant as their struggles are struggles of the marginalized women. However, this similarity does not entail an identical trajectory in their quest for self-actualization. Both of them have to face separate forms of societal suppression working through various agencies such as patriarchy, institutional religion and cultural taboos. Yet, the narratives celebrate their quest for identity as legitimate ones albeit having their own set of difficulties. These narratives may be ranked alongside Maya Angelou’s "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" and Quentin Crisp’s "The Naked Civil Servant" in their successful exposition of the inner lives of the marginalized individual and different ways through which they have to evolve survival strategies to claim their own space and identity in society. Baby’s quest is triggered off by her maternal subjectivity as she realizes her own selfhood in the process of trying to give her children a better life. On the other hand, Revathi’s struggle for self-actualization starts from the day she accepts her identity as a transgender individual. The paper tries to establish how these two separate, contemporary narratives coming from marginalized women are a clear indication of the hybrid identities of womanhood prevailing in India today.
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