VOICING THE SILENCES: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE SELECTED SHORT STORIES OF BHARATI MUKHERJEE AND BUSHRA EJAZ
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Women have been viewed and perceived within the constructed patriarchal structure of gender difference. The present research work tries to probe into the silences, subordination and voices of the Third World women in the Eastern and the Western world by undertaking a comparative study of the selected short stories of Bharati Mukherjee and Bushra Ejaz by using feminism as a theoretical framework. The selected short fiction taken for this research work includes Mukherjee’s Darkness (1985) and The Middleman and Other Stories (1988) and translated short stories of Bushra Ejaz, Selected Short Stories of Bushra Ejaz (2010), which are from her collections Barah Anne ki Aurat (1994), Aaj ki Sheharzad (2005). Mukherjee and Ejaz are representatives of contemporary women of India and Pakistan respectively. The selected writers are from diverse socio-cultural locations but what joins them is their dissent against the social and cultural construction of gender. Both of the authors can also be regarded as feminists because they express their rebellion by constructing a variety of adversarial stratagems against the patriarchal culture in their creations. The comparative study leads us to a comprehensive exploration of these writers understanding of the subordinated position of women, their struggle to assert their voice and their audacious efforts to propose new patterns of feminine existence. The selected writers, through their literary creations, try to create a space for the Indian immigrant and Pakistani women that throws a definite challenge to the masculine tyranny. The study also raises questions by dealing with serious and clandestine matters of women. Thereby, their literary creations can be commended as the voice of the women world. The research work depicts the positive role of Indian-American, and Pakistani writers in the on-going conflict of establishing female selfhood. By comparing the selected writers and their selected works, the study contributes to the spectrum of Comparative Literature.