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International Indexed & Refereed Research Journal, ISSN 0974-2832, (Print), E-ISSN- 2320-5474, July, 2013 VOL-V * ISSUE -54

Research Paper - English

Parent - Child Relationship in "The Dark Holds No Terrors" by Shashi Deshpande * Sonali Nitin Ramb

July, 2013

* Research Scholar , J.J.T. University , Rajasthan A B S T R A C T The First novel by Shashi Deshpande is 'The Dark Holds No Terrors' (1980). It depicts the problems faceed by a career woman, a refreshingly new phenomenon in Indian English by a woman writer. The protagonist, Saru stays in her father's house, which gives her a change to review her relationship with the husband, her dead mother, dead brother Dhruva and her children - Renu and Abhi. She gets a better understanding of herself and others. This gives her courage to face and confront reality. The dark no longer holds any terror for her. In the novel she concludes with the note that one has to find out one's own refuge and this refuge is hard to achieve. Key Words :-Dark, Terror, Discrimination, curse, favoritism, Sibling, jealousy. cruel words like, "You killed him, why didn't you die? Introduction :The author of (ten) successful novels, short why are you alive?, when he is dead ( Thus she stories and children books Shashi Deshpande, is one of openly accuses Saru to be a criminal and displays her the finest, enriched literary personality in Indian writing animosity for her daughter & blind love for son. Dhruva's in English. The Shahitya Akademi Award Winning mother has great ambition for her son. She wants to novelist is one step ahead of his father, Adya Rangachar prepare her son for any disaster in life. (better known as Sriranga) a famous Kannada dramatist Saru's mother distinguished between the things for and Sanskrit scholar. Though she tried, her hand much girls and for boys. In a way the mother tries to develop late in this literary field, she has won fame, success and a masculine ego in Dhruva. her identity as a woman writer. Nowadays, she live with After Dhruva's death Saru's mother even denied that she had any daughter. She always told others that she her pathelogist husband and two sons. had only a son who was no more. All this description Mother - son relationship Indian woman is made to feel fulfilled with her and details in the novel suggest that the mother son children and her husband. She should not think or act reationship between them seems almost unnatural. beyond her family and her children especially. She has Father - Son Relationship in The Dark Holds No Terrors In Indian traditional family system, father as a been taught to think more about her male child rather than female child. This is due to the impact of patriarchal, head of the family visualizes son in the same role in future. Secondly it is belived in India that a male child male - dominated Indian society. Saru, in this novel is the elder daughter of her would take his parents to heaven. Saru's father follows the custom and tradition parents and has a younger brother, Dhruva. Her mother, Kamalabai, always prefers Dhruva, her soon to her and leaves Saru to her mother, but unfortunately her daughter Saru. Saru is always forced to be aware by her mother also neglects her completely. The father's mother that Dhruva is always 'the preferred Child'. This affection towards his son Dhruva is revealed through favoritism has been shown through various in incidents. many incidents. After his death the house never had Saru's mother always misunderstands her & her celebration, which strongely emphasize the importance behaviour with Dhruva. Her mother things Saru's of Dhruva & negligance for daughter, Saru. When Saru comes back home after the death pushing off Dhruva as a major crime. She doesn't ignore of her mother, she comes to know that her father observes it as Saru's childish misdemeanour. This is only because fast for both time of Dhruva's birthday. The father is of her preference for her son Dhruva. Dhruva's parents always performed Puja on totally unknown about his living daughter but he has his birthday but never on Saru's birthday. This partiality immenso love for the dead son. His behaviour with and favoritism of one child - especially male child caused Madhav, a paying guest, his caring nature for him exposes his inner urge for son, Dhruva. The author has jealosy between brother and sister - sibling jealosy. Mother's love for her son compels her to utter the harsh, not sketched many incidents which will denote the


International Indexed & Refereed Research Journal, ISSN 0974-2832, (Print), E-ISSN- 2320-5474, July, 2013 VOL-V * ISSUE -54

father - son relationship in detail. There is another pair of the father and a son i.e. Manohar (Manu) and Abhi (Saru's husband & son) The author have not described it thoroughly. Manu is shown very loving & caring for his son. Father - Daughter Relationship The very first scene of the novel, unfolds the strange relationship between the father and daughter Saru. Her father doesn't want to welcome the daugher who has come there after 15 years of long period. This directly throws light on lack of love between the father and Saru. He never waited for her & never expected her too. Her father also does not show very eagerness to know about her, her family and children at all. He has never shovered Saru with love or shown his anger. But now she experiences tenderness of his heart and a kind attitude towards his daughter for the first time in her life. Her father is shown very much proud of his daughter as she is a doctor. Saru now remembers her childhood with her parents. Saru got success in persuading her father inspite of rejection by her mother. Baba supported, and help her and warned her to study hard. Though Baba have less money, he agreed to aid his daughter to become a doctor. Saru's mother always accused her that she had killed Dhruva while Baba never attered such accusation. He urges Saru to forgive her mother for her fault, weakness. According to Saru, if Baba had assured her mother earlier, Saru would not have spoiled her whole life. Baba, as an affectionate, loving father consoles her, when she shares her unhappyness with him. He is very eager now to solve the problems of his daughter. At the and Baba almost requests her to live her own life and forget her past. In this way the father helps his daughter indirectly. The readers get captivated in the relationaship of the father and daughter in this novel. The author successfully portrays the plight, problems, trials, tribulations of the relationship between father and daughter. Mother - Daughter Relationship The novel abnormally portrays the antagonism mainly from two persons one from Saru's mother and second from Saru's hasband Manu. A mother who is Godly figure for her children is shown as an enemy of her daughter. The novel is full of hatred, antagonism, revenge, sorrow. There is not a single moment where mother and daughter has laughed or

R E F E R E N C E 1) 2) 3) 4)

enjoyed altogether. It consists of only displaeures, dislikes, animosities and nothing else.3 After 15 years of the departure Saru has almost forgotten her mother. As her mother denied and cast her out compltely from her life, Saru also is not held undutiful daughter. But after her death, she decides to meet her father. Saru's mother represets typical Indian mother who always longs for male - child. According to Elizabeth BHarlock," Favoured Children tend to play up to their parents but are aggressive and dominating in sibling relationship"4. Saru has no respect for her mother in her mond as her mother always takes the side of her brother. So she has decided that whenever possible she will disobey her mother. In various trivial situations also her mother's discrimination could be easily marked by Saru. Saru's mother discarded and despised her daughter throughout her life. Saru's mother never thought about a child's emotions, feelings and tenderness of her heart. Such incidents show that Saru was an unwanted child for her mother. Saru's mother made her conscious and ashamed of her body. Seeing her mother and her behavior she did not wish to become a woman. She thus wanted to reject her womanhood only become of her mother. Saru, while brooding over her life at her maternal home with her father, thinks that she never could reach or believe her mother's sufferings entirely. Her mother never told anybody her sufferings feeling and griefs. Due to her mother's curse, she can not live happy life, No mother in the world could ever dislike her own child Saru's mother was an exception. This mother-daughter relationship is unloving, unnatural, sorrowful, hurting and a tragic one. Another mother in the novel is Saru herself. Saru and her husband want to become good parents. Due to her medical profession, she can not provide much time to her children but whenever possible she devotes herself to them. Saru shares her feelings of motherhood with the readers. She had sworn that she would never fail her daughter in love and understanding as her own mother had done. She decided to be loving, caring, understanding and affectionate for her daughter. At the end she accepts the challenge to prove herself a good daughter, wife, mother, doctor and a good human being. One can conclude that the human emotions, relationship and human beings are strange and peculiar. The parent child relationship is highly difficult to understand, and complex to differentiate.

Deshpande, Shashi, " The Dark Holds No Terrors", New Delhi : Vikas Publishing House : 1983. Kuppuswamy, B.' A Textbook of Child Behavior and Development', Vikas Publishing House, Delhi : 1974. Tripathi, Nalinabh,' Gender Identity and Inner Space in The Dark Holds No Terrors, Ed. R.S. Pathak, The Fiction of Shashi Deshpande, New Delhi : The Creative Books : 1998 Hurlock, Elizabeth, 'Child Growth and Development', Fifth & Sixth Edition, Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Com. Ltd., New Delhi : 1978



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