FEMALE CHARACTERS IN TAGORE’S “NEW WOMAN”
AND WOOLF’S “A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN”.
The title itself suggests the very essence of Rabindranath Tagore’s work “New Woman”. He depicted several women as out-of-the-box characters highlighted by their fortitude, unabashed, interesting and not-to-be-missed character in literature. For instance, it is generally claimed that man has an achieving nature and therefore seeks meaning and direction outside the home. Meanwhile, a woman wishes to be where she is and thus, nurture family, care for the environment and more homely things. This Bengali writer is truly indeed a myriad-minded man bringing out women character a different perspective punctuated by his outstanding characterization. He just not represented them as mother and lover but a fraction of their whole beings yet their distinct roles added beautifully to the totality of their characteristics. He is trying to foresee something that is really quite unforeseeable in the literary world for women. The lucidity and solidity introduction of his thesis is wonderfully engaging.
Upon reading his works, we can mirror the shifts in political, economic and social circumstances. Moreover, we can never forget the way he represented women characters because his literary devices are thought-provoking. Seductress and physically awakened they might seem to be, it does not diminish their feminism. To add, the traditionally prescribed values for women is not underrated through his characters, matter-of-factly, they are given emphasis in an unconventional-no-non-sense way. He gave new colors, shapes and textures and the way things looked.
The readers may subtly see the directness, the strident style and the apparent lack of nuance, figuratively speaking so to speak in his women characters. Women have become sources of inspiration and imagination in his works delivering a force to reckon with among other literary writings worldwide. Highly emotional in tone with touches of wit and morality, women are given space to express their individuality including their thoughts, perceptions and emotions. He has ways of thinking about difficult ideas and sort of a meticulous organizer who wanted to clarify such concepts.
Sohini, as any other individual is a flawed person yet she does not stop being weak but confessed her wrongdoings. She has nobility of spirit having compassion for animals and strength of character having grace under pressure. Her magnetic personality comes from within showering other people her incredible thinking mind and feeling heart. She is earnest, sweet and noble and her poet’s soul shines through her behavior and attitude in life. She both combined impeccably the concrete world of the senses and immutable world of ideas in a tightly whole package. Moreso, in the lens of psycho-analytic criticism, she embraces the “ego” or the reality principle.
There’s no denying that Pishi’s powerful personality springs eternal. Her power is portrayed in a positive way because she exuded sacrificial love. She could deal with whatever situation she is embroiled in. Inwardly, she is marvelously lovely because she is capable of great love. Furthermore, in a less descriptive way, she embraces the “superego” or the morality principle.
Meanwhile, Nila is a woman of beauty whose beauty springs eternal and who cherishes deeply materialism over true love. She has the tendency to prostitute love and friendship for her own delight and motive. Her mode of thought is to inject a non-committal relationship wherein she embraces the “id” or the pleasure principle.
The positive and negative side of each character is absolutely astonishing. Both characters are diametrically opposed with one another yet complement each other and bring about innate and real self through each other. To highlight, Tagore’s New Woman had magnified love and the lack of it in his women characters. They are a combination of different things and a not- so- regular characters. Truth be told, he did not miss the opportunity to make us transcend our own level of taste whether to love or hate his women characters. In view of this light, it had improved literary criticism and will continuously improve feminism in literature.
As the critics concluded in “A Room of One’s Own”— it may have actually been to create a work that lay somewhere in between these two extremes. Arnold Bennett declared that Woolf’s essay is not a feminist work because it emphasizes not only women and their relationship to fiction but all people of genius who have not had an opportunity to use it because of their lack of money and privacy. Meanwhile, David Daiches, another critic, believed that Woolf’s essay is a feminist for she utilizes woman’s situation to make a more universal statement. The couple of critics apparently distort the scope of the essay by their own perception, nevertheless, readers may absorb different point of view and scale of point. Whichever between dialectical tension between these two concepts, her status of womanhood is a flicker of challenge that rose within the words into phrases into sentences into paragraphs.
Having come to terms with two critics’ opposing statement, it is me or something in me, which tells me that all female writers are a feminist or there’s a bit and part of their stream-of-consciousness writing that embraces feminism. As I read her essay, it really advocates feminism and asserts women profession to have equal footing on men’s profession. There’s a forceful and commanding voice to dare women to be dynamic, rich, lucrative in their writing careers. It is indeed a feminist literary writing for these reasons: she aspires for equal rights and opportunities for women to write fiction and she advocates development of personal style in the area of women’s fiction.
Her essay is beyond good that uncovers female tradition of writing and tends to increase awareness of the sexual politics of language and style. However, we cannot assume that there is a stance of competition where she would try to outdo men. There is just a resounding challenge to present the worth and esteem of women writers. Women had to work against the grain in order to write which reveals that she asserts feminine writing. To be a writer, one has to destroy the stereotyped image of housewife and mother and must have 500 pounds a year and a room of their own.
There’s more than meets the eye in her 500 pounds a year that serves as a challenge for women writers. This was too tenuous a basic for each woman writer to discover one’s writing capability. Is not that a statement that wants to put women on a pedestal? How can Virginia Woolf, a female writer herself underrate or downgrade the female writer themselves? She has a special female expression of women’s perspectives on a variety of social, cultural and political issues being committed to feminist position. Almost all female writers hope to reveal subconscious ideas to their text and want to transfer values to their theme/message of literary writings.
The mood and tone of her essay convinces women writers to assert themselves by showing how women have been marginalized in literature. She would like to liberate women writers from such ingrown prejudices in writing. Thus, women’s voices previously muted have been echoed and screamed out through feminism and one of its great examples is her essay. She reintroduced feminism into liberty or equality or fraternity. A Room of One’s Own is a standpoint of her feminist advocacy. I could say perhaps that her thesis statement is very inspiring in this respect.