The Criterion: An International Journal in English ISSN A Feminist Study of Manju Kapur’s Difficult Daughters Bijender Singh . Set against the tumult of the Partition, Manju Kapur’s acclaimed first novel captures a life torn between family, desire, and love. The one thing I had wanted . Difficult Daughters By Manju Kapur Penguin Pages: Price: Rs This charming novel is about educating daughters, and facing the.

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April 1, When Kasturi delivered her eleventh baby, it was cold December night.

I found this sitting in a box of old books and realized I’d never read it. Int “History scares me.

Book review: Manju Kapur’s Difficult Daughters

The novel tells the story of an upper middle class urban Arya Samaj Punjabi family in Amritsar, Punjab. As it was, the writing seemed a little nervous, uneasy.

The kaput of the women is described in a beautiful manner where there is no birth-control in India and ladies are considered a machine to produce more and more raughters.

At the begining it looked difricult the author is going to provide us with All this fuss about an arrogant, full-of-himself, overbearing, ungrateful man? Tell us what djfficult didn’t like in the comments. Her daughter, who opens the novel in a flash-forward scene, is the most intriguing character and we only hear from her rarely throughout the book.

That said, I found the ending of the story to be somewhat rushed– I was hoping for more insight into the protagonist’s relatio I enjoy books with strong female characters who break social norms. She wants to be like her cousin, Shakuntala, who is educated, sophisticated and, most important, lives in Lahore. Reading this book, I often rotated between being proud of and feeling frustrated with the protagonist– a mark of dimensional and memorable characters. In the end, she was with the man she loves, but at what cost?

Then the subject is emmersed in education and tries to find herself. Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Diffiicult two females have been studied in this paper extensively with their roles and duties in the family and outside world.


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While she stood her grounds against her family for the sake of education, claiming she will never marry, it seemed as if her pursuit for study was only to feed her obsession for this man. Amazingly thorough in research for the backdrop, the narrative is very powerful- I could almost imagine the story unfolding in my head no, I wan’t asleep: The paper is also an attempt to highlight how education deviates from the main objective; even the educated girls like Virmati who spoils her life by falling in love with a married professor who has already fathered two children.

However, traditions are strictly adhered to, and this causes much conflict. Jul 18, Prerna Mishra rated it really liked it.

No one is without shortcomings in the story, including Virmati, whose devotion to the professor readers may not be able to fully grasp. I found it hard to like any of the characters. Her husband is dissatisfied from his life and his boss.

She is impatient, rebellious and intolerant of fuss. Her daughter, had a troubled marriage that ended in divorce, drawing similarities with the struggles of her mother.

Difficult Daughters

She tries to end her life by drowning. I felt the frustration of being forced to watch siblings, to mother them when you never had the choice. Then again, maybe not.

Indian household was helpful and of interest to me. The drama unfolds with intelligence and absorbing sympathy in Lala Diwan Chand’s Arya Samaj family in conservative Amritsar. Virmati is the eldest daughter of an affluent Arya Samaj family which encourages education but not independent thinking for their girls. Virmati wanted her mother to love and appreciate her and she accepted a version of it with her choice of Hari.

In the end, the narrator wanted the memory of Virmati to leave her.

She checked off all the societal taboos in the process. Virmati is different from her siblings and her mother never fails to point out how difficult and selfish she is. The lack of any passion or rumination towards the difficuot she studied was questionable. There is no provision for the gynecologist at their time and only midwives conduct deliveries. Kasturi, Faughters, Astha or Ida are victimized of the rotten-rules of the patriarchal society.


The purpose of present study is to investigate the positions of women in contemporary Indian novel Difficult Daughters by Manju Kapur. What a pity Ms. I’m not sure what argument their story was trying to make regarding education for girls. Nobody has any business to live in the world and know nothing about its ways.

Manju Kapur’s Difficult Daughters & The Immigrants | Themes & Analysis

Women still have trails to blaze She then becomes romantically involved with a college lecturer, and that romantic engagement paves the way to further education. The professor has been married with his uneducated wife in his childhood.

Her story is a real one, one familiarly faced by many girls from traditional homes who are bound by duty yet yearn to be seen for themselves, as unique individuals. This antagonizes her own family, as well as the first wife obviously. Harish is awful – self-centered and selfish and hypocritical – and it’s easy to dislike him. To view it, click here.

Virmati listens his lectures with rapt attention. But still the daughters were expected to ultimately settle down with their husbands and raise family.

The pink cover with flowers is the new edition by nons other than Faber, recently responsible for the sacrilegious cover of the anniversary edition of The Bell Jar http: Virmari, a young girl who is on a q The story of this book describes the love story of a 24year old girl, Virmati and her struggle to own the man of her life.