In the mainstream Indian historical and political discourse, satis (a Hindu widow who immolates herself on the funeral pyre of her husband) are described as either “heroines” or “victims” without a voice of their own. In Sea of Poppies and Rich Like Us, contemporary Indian novelists Amitav Ghosh and Nayantara Sahgal actively explore the voices of this marginalized group. By depicting the existential predicament of the two satis, Deete and the great-grandmother, these two novels reveal the exploitation and oppression of them by Indian patriarchy, British colonialism and Indian nationalism; by portraying the active and passive resistance of the two ‘Kali’-like satis, the novels rediscover their subaltern consciousness and heterogeneous subject experience that are concealed or ignored by mainstream discourse, and present their complex subjectivity.
Xin Liu, University of Science and Technology Beijing, China
Jing Yin, University of Science and Technology Beijing, China
About the Presenter(s)
Xin Liu is a Ph.D. candidate at School of Foreign Studies, University of Science and Technology Beijing, specializing in contemporary Indian English novels.
See this presentation on the full schedule – Monday Schedule