REWRITING GENDER NARRATIVES IN KAMALA MARKANDAYA’S POSSESSION
Keywords:gender identity, postcolonial gender roles and power relations, social constructivism, colonial gender paradigms, patriarchal gender paradigms, gender-stereotypical narratives
Through the analysis of Kamala Markandaya’s Possession, this paper delves into
postcolonial gender narratives that question the colonial and patriarchal mode of thought
traditionally shaping gender discourse and thus shows how social and cultural paradigms
determine the postcolonial gender roles and power relations in the novel. The aim of the paper
is to elucidate how the interconnectedness of race, class and gender redefines the very norms
of gender identity, defying gender-stereotypical narratives. This paper discloses that gender
roles are constructed by the social, cultural and historical context rather than biology itself.
Therefore, femininity does not necessarily correlate only with female sex, just as masculinity is
not inextricably linked only with male sex. Still, female energy is continually suppressed by the
dominant masculine social framework. Furthermore, the analysis of the novel reveals that the
Western vs. non-Western dichotomy can be likened to the male vs. female one – the colonizer
assuming male identity, the colonized female one.
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