This essay analyzes women writing about their experience in the changing socio-cultural and political context of the early twentieth century and especially in the face of the global, national, and regional transformations that Kerala underwent. The essay argues that the short stories of Lalithambika Antharjanam subverted the popular representation of antharjanams in the early 20th century as impassive, oppressed, and vulnerable subjects and provided alternative ways to conceptualize an antharjanam as a feminist trailblazer with a strong voice of protest. Her writing exposes her first-hand experiences of gender discrimination practiced in families as related to her caste and family lineage. Thus, her literary expression is one of the first ventures in feminist writing that Malayalam literature witnessed. This article draws on the scholarship of Uma Chakravarti, Nur Yalman, and Michel Foucault, employing their theories on gender, sociology, psychoanalysis, and cultural and anthropological frameworks to explore women’s roles in their respective social groups. Furthermore, the works of Joan Watt and J. Devika are applied in this interpretation of works by women writers in twentieth-century Kerala.
Hemachandran, Revathy and Vinai, Maya
"Traversing the Inner Courtyard to the Public Sphere: Exploring Lalithambika Antharjanam’s Short Stories as Narratives of Protest in Early Twentieth Century Kerala,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 25:
5, Article 5.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol25/iss5/5