Sankhipta- From Subjugation to Emancipation.

Samanta, Sugata. “From Subjugation to Emancipation: The Emergence of Unshackled Womanhood in ‘Rajmohan’s Wife’”, Research Journal of English Language and Literature (RJELAL).3.3. 2015. WEB.

This article focuses on the shift from subjugation to emancipation through the female protagonist. Novels exhibit great powers in exploring human minds while delineating their characters. “unlike most other novelists of his time, was quite successful in proving that his women characters are no less prominent than men and are indeed made of flesh and blood rather than faint and shadowy figures. The way women characters are drawn in his novels show a special insight of the author into women’s heart and authorial sympathy towards them” (1). Some of the features that his women characters qualify are complex and exciting.
As established earlier, the literary world was unaware of the fact that Bankim was the first to publish novel in English i.e. Rajmohan’s Wife, a lesser known novel of the time. It may not be considered as one of the finest novels but it reflects the contemporary society.
“There is also no way of denying that the novel portrays faithfully a truthful picture of the society within a limited perspective, which enables us to witness a transition from medievalism to modernity, particularly in depicting the struggle of young women in society” (2). Looking at the fact from subjugation to emancipation, the question claimed is determining the position of Matangini in the colonial space. Therefore, the novel is story of revolution, a silent revolt of a young women of eighteen. The silent revolution against the domestic violence makes the novel have its place in the literary space.
“The novelist has portrayed Matangini with different colours and shades. Matangini oscillates in her deeds according to her conscience on one hand and in maintaining social norms as a marginalized woman on the other” (4). When Matangini is asked by her husband not to go out to fetch water is where we see the concept of subjugation but she retorts to this and goes out to fetch water showing emancipation. In return the fury of Rajmohan is seen on Matangini which she faces by being silent as said above.
“The novelist seems to preserve different narratives for Rajmohan’s wife and Matangini. From the title, it appears Rajmohan’s narrative is the prominent one and it is suggested that his wife is allowed no control over her own body as well as her sexuality”(5).
“The name ‘Matangini’ in the novel bears special connotation. From the derivative point of view, ‘Matangini’ is the name of goddess Kali and when she ventures to step out in the dark night to protect Madhab from the dacoits, she rises to superhuman heights of prowess and goes out to destroy the evil hands. She has now the power of an elephant (another meaning of ‘Matangini’) that may eventually crush everything which comes to her way in doing justice (Bangiya Sabdakosh). Like a delirious river, her immense inner strength is revealed in the language when she knocks the household of Madhab with the hope of informing him well before about the dacoity”(6).
In this novel the social orders become rigid while the protagonist changes it by her brevity.
“The symbolic significance of Matangini in this novel may be multifaceted, but it is also undeniable that the way the character of Matangini is portrayed definitely shows the motifs of feminine anguish and revolt. At the core of her character lies a rebel against accepted conventions. At first, she is portrayed as a stereotyped housewife of any Indian village ready to accept the patriarchal codes silently and uncritically”(9).


Sankhipta- Naturalistic Philosophy: A study of Rajmohan’s Wife

Sultan, Fayaz. “Bankim Chandra Chatterjee and the Vogue of Naturalistic Philosophy: A study of Rajmohan’s Wife”, The Criterion An International Journal in English. 4.III. 2013. WEB.

Locating Rajmohan’s Wife in Indian Literary Writing has been a tough time though we find certain works attempted on it. Here in this article, Rajhmohan’s Wife is seen through a Naturalistic perspective. As Rajhmohan’s Wife is a novel on patriarchal hierarchy and aristrocracy, the article opens with the lines by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect” which is used to dissect Rajhmohan’s Wife as a Naturalistic discourse (1).

“Naturalism specifically connects itself to the philosophical doctrine of biological and social determinism, according to which human beings are devoid of free will” (1). The given statement precisely connects to the main character of Matangini in Rajhmohan’s Wife where she is devoid of her free will.

As the article looks at the Naturalistic philosophy we find other association with different novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlett Letter. Chillingworth represents Rajhmohan while Hester Pryne represents Matangini. But Bankim Chandra Chatterjee’s novel is slightly different from that of Hawthorne’s The Scarlett Letter on a more realistic ground. Chatterjee’s Rajmohan’s Wife did not see reputation as most of his novels did have an unhappy ending.

As we proceed we see how the narration is sad about the fact that the tenderness of a woman withers with tough time. Quoting  from the novel when Chatterjee portrays Matangini as “Some sorrow of deep anxiety had dimmed the lusture of her fair complexion. Yet her bloom was a full charm as that of the land lotus half-scorched and half radiant under the noonday sun her long locks were tied up in a careless knot on her shoulder; but some loose tresses had thrown away that bondage and were straying over forehead and cheeks” (3,3).

The beauty of Matangini mesmorises Rajmohan and the love affair is not established between Matangini and Madhav because of Rajmohan’s aristocratic impulse. Hawthorne’s Pryne somewhat takes over Matangini : “Matangini, I believe is a culmination point of many centuries’ psychological traumas that were stitched in the stereotypical Indian woman” (3). Hawthorne’s and Chatterjee’s novels produce characters of same trait of being stereotype.

Towards the end, Meenakshi Mukherjee being a critic to Chatterjee’s work asserts that there is fiery in Rajmohan’s character. She also marks the connection between both the villainous character of both the novels but puts Rajmohan on a higher platform than Chillingworth, for Bankim’s more realistic approach.

Therefore , the connection that the article establishes is put forth by the following lines : “What we gather from this scintillating commentary is that Bankim while portraying his iconoclastic heroine, Matangini, gives her means of expression. She is not just showed as in a dilemma of to be or not be but as a character full of passionate intensity” (4).

Sankhipta(1537269): History of English Literature in Pre-Post Independent India

Shaik, Nasreen BHM Liyakatali. “History of Indian English Literature”, History of English Literature in Pre-Post Independence India: a critical evaluation. 2012. WEB.

Literatures all over the world, have developed on uneven lines depending upon the local environment. As a result Indian Literature also sees its emergence in the literary realm owing to the ancient times. Oral tradition was one of the earliest ways for Indian Literature to come into light which represents the artistic work of ancient times. Similarly, Indian religious systems are closely associated with Indian Literature but religion was not only the core factor for its emergence.

Indian Literary writing is a body in which many writers starting from Pre Independent India to Post Independent India have given the literary field a new stance. Before Macaulay’s Minutes were published, the use of English had already begun in India.

Indian Literature did have display of unique forms of ideological and aesthetical origins which helped Indian writing hold to its roots. Use of Indian names was induced without affecting the work.  Some of the limitations that were found in the development of the Literature were seen in the works of the first Indian writer of novel in English by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Rajmohan’s Wife (1864) and Toru Dutt’s Sentimental Bianca (1878) which did not have positive reaction. Therefore, the history of Indian Literature is the historical development of writings and historical techniques.

Sankhipta-Locating Rajmohan’s Wife in Indian Literary Writing-1537269

Islam, Md. Manirul. “Women’s Struggle For Independent Identity: A  Study Of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Rajmohan’s Wife And Arundhati Roy’s The God Of Small Things”, Research Journal of English Language and Literature (RJELAL) A Peer Reviewed (Refereed) International Journal.2.4(2014).WEB.

Bankim Chandra Chattopadhaya’s , Rajmohan’s Wife is the first Indian novel which is talked less. The article highlights on the feminist character who have established their identity before independence. Taken into consideration only Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s,  Rajmohan’s Wife, we see how Matangini the female protagonist breaks the patriarchal system. “The novel deals with the rebellion of a beautiful and passionate woman against the oppression and dominance of her husband. In this novel the female protagonist goes against tradition through raising her voice against her cruel husband and loving the husband of her own sister” (152).

She over comes the barriers and goes against her husband. In all these she breaks away from the traditions and the system that prevailed and stands firm in creating and identity of her own.