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SUBALTERNITY IN SELECT NOVELS OF AMITAV GHOSH AND ANITA DESAI (Pages 114- 123) by Ms. R. Jeyadevi* and Dr. S. T. Gunasekhar** in THE ENGLISH INDIA / ISSN: 2321-1172 (Online); 2347-2634 (Print)

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Anita Desai is one of the renowned cotemporary Indian women novelists in English. One of her recurring themes is the struggle of women to assert their independence in a restrictive Indian society. In her novels, she depicts the cultural and social changes that India has undergone during certain periods. She explores the power of family and society and the relationship between family members. She also depicts the aspirations and struggle of subalterns and focuses on the obstacles encountered by these people who are suppressed by the Indian society. Her novels revolve around themes of alienation, search for self-identity, inter-cultural connections and survival. She is rated as a great artist chiefly in her characterization, displaying psychological insight into the inner self, painting a realistic picture of Indian setting and background. Amitav Ghosh is widely acclaimed for his major novels in which he has expressed his concerns for the downtrodden people of Indian society. In his major novels, Amitav Ghosh’s sympathetic attitude towards the subaltern can be perceived. The problems of alienation, migration and existential crisis in life of unprivileged class of the society are explored through his fictions. The voice of the subalterns, their struggle and sacrifices which went unnoticed in the annals of the history began to get a prominent voice in the fiction of Amitav Ghosh in a different way. Through his writings, he provided subalterns a center stage by making them as pivotal characters of his fiction so that they can raise their voice against the oppressive forces of the society. These characters from the marginalized sphere are in the main lead of the stories of both of the novelists of Indian writing in English Literature. By providing the centrality to the marginalized characters, their novels are the representations of the subaltern group. Both of them, in their fictions, tried to provide space for the unrecorded, subaltern, silenced, isolated and voiceless. The main objective of this paper is to analyze the select novels of Anita Desai’s and Amitav Ghosh and to highlight their perspective on subalternity. The selected novels for this paper are –The Sea of Poppies of Amitav Ghosh and Anita Desai’s Voices in the City. In these novels Amitav Ghosh and Anita desai have realistically delineated the pathetic and difficult condition of the subaltern. The evil faces of poverty, homelessness, exploitation and subjugation have also been exposed their novels.widely acclaimed for his major novels in which he has expressed his concerns for the downtrodden people of Indian society. In his major novels, Amitav Ghosh’s sympathetic attitude towards the subaltern can be perceived. The problems of alienation, migration and existential crisis in life of unprivileged class of the society are explored through his fictions. The voice of the subalterns, their struggle and sacrifices which went unnoticed in the annals of the history began to get a prominent voice in the fiction of Amitav Ghosh in a different way. Through his writings, he provided subalterns a center stage by making them as pivotal characters of his fiction so that they can raise their voice against the oppressive forces of the society. These characters from the marginalized sphere are in the main lead of the stories of both of the novelists of Indian writing in English Literature. By providing the centrality to the marginalized characters, their novels are the representations of the subaltern group. Both of them, in their fictions, tried to provide space for the unrecorded, subaltern, silenced, isolated and voiceless. The main objective of this paper is to analyze the select novels of Anita Desai’s and Amitav Ghosh and to highlight their perspective on subalternity. The selected novels for this paper are –The Sea of Poppies of Amitav Ghosh and Anita Desai’s Voices in the City. In these novels Amitav Ghosh and Anita desai have realistically delineated the pathetic and difficult condition of the subaltern. The evil faces of poverty, homelessness, exploitation and subjugation have also been exposed their novels.Keywords: Cotemporary Indian women novelists, struggle of women, restrictive Indian society, cultural and social changes, psychological insight, marginalized characters etc.

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