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Scholarly Article

Safi Ullah and Moniruzzaman

Female Voice against Patriarchal Oppression: A Study on Tree without Roots

Volume
3
Issue
1
Pages:
65-78
Keywords:

radical feminism, patriarchy, authoritativeness

Abstract

Tree without Roots (1948) is a debut novel of Syed Waliullah, a Bangladeshi novelist, shortstory writer and playwright. In the novel, he focuses on vital social factors, religious fundamentalism, superstitions, domination of patriarchal society and subject to the ravages of nature. This novel deals with misrepresentation of a religion and dominating a society by means of that religion. In this novel, Majeed, the protagonist and central character, represents oppressive patriarchy who dominates everything of Mahabbatpur village. He claims to be a religious and spiritual guide of the people and thus establishes his position in the village declaring an antique grave to be the grave of a saint named Mudasser Pir. Jamila plays a significant and dominant role in this novel as a female character. She epitomizes the most salient and rebellious voice who questions and refuses oppressive patriarchy. She holds a feminist voice which is quite loud in this text. There are other female characters including Rahima, Kulsum and wife of Khaleque Bepary who represent different features of women of the mid-20th century Bengali Muslim society. This paper analyzes how Jamila voices for the silent majority of the society and how she speaks against all suppression of Majeed and breaks the binary boundary created by Majeed. Noteworthy to mention is that feminism portrayed by Jamila indicates radical feminism, a perspective of feminism signifying the elimination of patriarchal order of the society created by them.

About the Author

Safi Ullah, a Postgraduate from the University of Dhaka, teaches English literature at Z. H. Sikder University of Science & Technology, Shariatpur, Bangladesh. He has authored two collections of fictions namely Sat Number Bus (2016) and Golpogulor Ortho Nei (2018). He is also an essayist and translator. His areas of interest are modernism, postmodernism, genderstudies and translation studies. He may be contacted at safiullah.eng@gmail.com.


Moniruzzaman, a Postgraduate from the University of Dhaka, teaches English literature at Z. H. Sikder University of Science & Technology, Shariatpur, Bangladesh. His areas of interest are feminism, modernism, postmodernism, Victorian poetry and Modern novels. He may be contacted at monirduen01@yahoo.com.

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