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Title: Deceptive feminist : the failure of feminism in Salman Rushdie’s fiction
Authors: Norjahan Makmon
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities::Literature::English
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: Salman Rushdie, by his own admission, has “repeatedly sought to create female characters as rich and powerful as those [he has] known”. Women are crucial to Rushdie’s novels Shame, The Enchantress of Florence and The Ground Beneath Her Feet. The women of these novels are shown to resist the conventional expectations that are placed upon them, yet for all the disturbances that they cause to their respective social dynamics, they ultimately fail to display positive feminist qualities. This essay will discuss the motives of Rushdie’s supposedly empowered females and find that they typically defy expectations in order to please male figures. That Rushdie’s women, in spite of the author’s efforts to strengthen them, keep falling back to a position secondary to men’s suggests that Rushdie’s primary interest does not lie in portraying women as successful power players. Rushdie needs his powerful women to ultimately fail because they enable him to represent the post-colonial struggles that his male characters undergo. Rushdie reduces potentially strong feminist characters in Shame, The Enchantress of Florence and The Ground Beneath Her Feet to metaphors of post-colonial struggles of the homeless male emigrant and remains ambivalent to the plight of females. This essay will also discuss how Rushdie undermines the history of female subjugation, exoticizes female characters, and presents them as fetishized bodies.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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