Romance, Power, and Female Oppression: A Textual Analysis of Shah Nawaz’s The Heart Divided
Keywords:Female Oppression, Love and Romance, Partition Literature, Patriarchy
This study is based on a Pakistani Anglophone partition novel, Mumtaz Shah Nawaz’s The Heart Divided (1957). This research explores love and romance concerning power and female oppression in the above-mentioned novel. Major theoretical insights are drawn from Simone De Beauvoir’s groundbreaking text The Second Sex (1949) contextualizes love and romance to women in patriarchal societies. In addition to this theoretical support is taken from post-colonial feminism to contextualize and explain the gendered power imbalance and oppression experienced by the third-world women as presented through the fictional characters of the selected novel. This qualitative study hopes to demonstrate that within the South Asian patriarchal society, men use love and romance to oppress women and keep them within the patriarchal limits. It also aims to analyze how women experience, understand, and try to use love and romance as a power-giving strategy but is socially rejected. Men view love and romance differently from women who are more self-effacing and sacrificing in nature. Employing the method of textual analysis, this study also explores how love changes in times of war and can be a destructive force that brings hatred, revenge, and pain.
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