What is a theme of  Dattani's play "Tara"?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the most important themes in the play is that of gender roles in modern society in Gujarati and Indian life. 

The play explores female infanticide and its effect on the remaining family members.  In a society that is supposed to be advanced and respect women, we still find it common to kill baby girls.

Females have subservient roles throughout.  For example, girls and women are expected to listen to men.  Some girls accept this as reality and consider it not just part of life, but in their best interest.  Chandan accepts paternal (male) guidance, but Tara does not.

CHANDAN: If daddy wants to stop her from saying something to us, maybe it’s not good for us to hear it.

TARA: And who decides what’s good for us to hear and what isn’t? (54)

Tara represents a role of women in a changing society, one that accepts women more as equal.  She wants to have a say, and be considered just as important as men.  She wants to make her own decisions.


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