“Boundary Lines”: Education, Marriage and Hegemony in Chitra Divakaruni’s Sister of My Heart

By Reshmi Lahiri-Roy.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper looks at education as a factor affecting the urban Hindu arranged marriage as portrayed within Divakaruni’s novel. It is observed that education dually functions as both a powerful instrument of change within the narrative and also a hegemonic tool. The paper deals with the issues mentioned using certain analytical tools taken from Cultural Studies and Postcolonial theory. The concept of hegemony is discussed here from a Gramscian perspective. The paper also focuses on the ability of education to function as a source of power and a means to personal and marital happiness within the narrative discourse. The term ‘education’ here refers to the acquiring of formal schooling and tertiary education. Certain issues linked with formal education in India are briefly discussed to clarify the background within which the socio-cultural discourse of the fiction operates.

Keywords: Education, Hegemony, Marriage, Hinduism

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 12, pp.169-180. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 787.562KB).

Dr. Reshmi Lahiri-Roy

Member, New Zealand South Asia Centre, NZSAC, University of Canterbury, Melbourne, New Zealand

Dr. Reshmi Lahiri-Roy holds a Ph.D. in English and Cultural Studies and a Master of Arts, from University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She has a M.A. in English, a B.A. in English from University of Bombay, India and a Graduate Diploma in Journalism from Bombay. Her research interests include Postcolonial Studies, Cross-cultural Studies, Bollywood and Diasporic Cinema, Migrant and Gender issues. She has presented and published her academic work at notable international conferences and journals. She is a founding member of and has taught within the New Zealand South Asia Centre, University of Canterbury.

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