Elucidate on the following:  Shashi Deshpande's The Binding Vine voices feminist concerns.   

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that Deshpande's novel is a work that voices feminist concerns.  Deshpande is able to construct a work in which the predicament of women is "the binding vine" between them.  It is this bind that can enable solidarity which will overcome the structures that silence women.  Deshpande is able to span time and generations in order to better articulate what it means to be a woman.  

In being able to express the woman's predicament in different realms and with different contexts, a feminist statement is made.  There is a vision of what it means to be a woman that cuts across time and space.  Urmi understands what Mira endured, even though it is a generation prior.  The condition of being forced into a loveless marriage and having creative voice silenced as a result is something that Urmi "gets."  In this, a feminist concern is raised in how women share experiences across time.  Kalpana's rape in the modern setting is another such example.  Women from the modern setting and women from past contexts can share in their experiences.  The institutions that silence their voices are present both then and now.  In being able to critique these institutions, a feminist statement is made and becomes a driving force in Deshpande's work.  "The binding vine" is this experience of being a woman, and the solidarity which emerges is a statement asserting feminist ideals.


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