Reclaiming Female Identities: Kundanika Kapadia’s “Seven Steps in the Sky”
Keywords:Keywords: Self, other, identity, social conditioning, female bonding, freedom
Discourse on the self and identity is central to contemporary feminist theory. Contemporary modern Indian literature is dominated by the writings of women who share their lived and imagined experiences in their works. Their works are dominated by the influence of patriarchy on their lives and the necessity to oppose the male domination and the social conditioning of women. Indian women writers such as Shashi Deshpande, Kamala Das, Mahasweta Devi, Kundanika Kapadia, etc. reject the traditional portrayal of women as enduring and sacrificial victims. Instead, they have moulded bold and assertive female characters who constantly strive to establish their individual identity. Kundanika Kapadia is one such author who offered Gujarati literature female characters of substance who had the courage to question the patriarchal ideology and proclaim their identity amidst social and cultural conditioning. Her best-known novel Seven Steps In the Sky (originally published as Sat Paglan Akashma) introduces Vasudha as the Subject, who moves out of her marital relationship after thirty-two years of servitude and exploitation. This paper attempts to explore her struggle for freedom and identity in a patriarchal society through female bonding and support.
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