ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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How Equal? Women in Premchand's Writings

In the final analysis, it is clearly a conservative ideal that Premchand upholds for women. He may at times recommend obviously radical measures. But the characters he creates in his fiction—his craftmanship rested on creating characters that reflected the existing reality and at the same time also embodied the possibilities and directions of desired changes—rarely, if even agitate for the realisation of these measures. Except for the occasions when the call of the greater cause of nationalism necessitates a different mode of behaviour, his ideal women characters merge their identities with those of their men. In this merger alone—or through it—do they seek hope and salvation. They remain the hidden forces behind their men. Their success lies not in anything they do but in what they make possible for their men to achieve. They are the perpetual givers. The takers among them remain the counter-ideal. Ironically it is the latter who are equipped with the will and the determination to fight exploita tion actively. But they are condemned for their supposed self-indulgence and shallowness.  

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