1 Introduction

                This paper aims to analyze the
patriarchal system of the society through a feminist perspective. The study
focuses on the subjection of women to the male members in their houses. Also,
it focuses on the female sufferings due to the man-made traditions that are
forcefully imposed on the female body. To interpret the subjection of women to
men, Bapsi Sidhwa’s novel The Bride (1983) have been consulted. This research
paper tries to explore the issues of marriage, unwillingness of bride,
subjugation of women, cultural conflicts, traditional boundaries and
suppression of females due to which they are being subjected by men.

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                                        2
.Significance of the Study

This research
adds into the existing researches of matrimonial issues in Pakistan along with
the subjection of female figure. It contributes in rendering help to the new
researchers in exploring the ways of subjection of women. Moreover, this
research interprets Pakistan and especially the tribal areas and tribesmen in
the novel written by Pakistani English writer in which females are supposed to
stay mute in the discussion of their own marriage. In this way, this research
lends a great help to the new researchers working on the current or past
situation of women in Pakistan that how the Pakistani society is harsh,
oppressive, repressive for women and justified in the name of cultural
traditions and religion. The scope of this study is vast because the
exploitation of women is common not just in Pakistan but also in most of the
societies.

                                             3.
Research Objectives

                The objective of this research
is to analyze the theory of subjection and its link to the plight of subjected
women in Pakistani society. It aims to trace out the plight of women under the
authority of patriarchal society. This study aims at exposing the issues of
marriage, cultural conflicts and struggle for identity, subjugation and
suppression of women portrayed by Sidhwa. Further, it analyzes the status of
women in two different cultures. The present research aims to emphasize the
impact of sexual repression faced by female bodies in the novel The Bride
(1983).

                               4.Research
Questions

The research
tries to answer the following questions:

•             How women are being subjected by
both male and female in The Bride (1983)?

•             How the subjection of women is a
universal issue?

•             How women’s condition becomes
miserable due to their subjection?

 

                                                  5.Literature
Review

This
chapter of the research presents a review of the research studies on The Bride
(1983). It encloses a critique of the related works that are kept under
consideration while carrying out this research study. The review of all these
works owe a great contribution in the analysis of research topic and presenting
an interpretation of the data.

A
Study of the Stepfather and the Stranger (1990) by Cynthia Abrioux analyses the
images of the stepfather and the stranger in The Pakistani Bride. The analysis
of these images is brought together in the interpretation of the novel as a
symbol of Pakistani society where the stepfather, the strangers and Zaitoon
represent different parties in Pakistani politics. Her article sees novel as an
allegory of early Pakistan with Qasim representing the British colonizers as
well as the corrupt political leaders of the new Pakistan and Zaitoon
representing the country. Also, she states that the text has a tendency to skim
over the top of the novel and not delving deeply enough into the material. The
article is essentialist in that it focuses on “feminine as positive and the
masculine as negative” (Abrioux 4).

Lata
Mishra’s “Gender, Culture and Nation in Bapsi Sidhwa’s novel The Pakistani
Bride” (2003) presents the ideas of femininity and masculinity which holds a
very strong position in the building and rebuilding of a nation. Mishra throws
light on the fact that women are often thought to be an object of sexuality and
are also considered as an object to fulfill the needs of their male partners.
They are used as a tool to increase the progeny. Moreover, they must show their
movements according to the desires of their men. In this work patriarchy is
criticized severely and different stereotypes which are spread in our society
related to women that they must be confined to the boundaries which are imposed
upon them by using the names of social parameters and in this way women are
exploited in one way or the other. Furthermore, she elaborates the relationship
of power and strength via violent imposition of force by representing it in
various forms and shapes. She narrates, “Sidhwa’s narratives and characters not
only reveal male dominance but also show the sense of revolt from women and
deal with the issues relevant to women such as patriarchy, stereotyping,
exploitation, sexual objectification, violence and oppression” (Mishra 4).

Sofia
Dildar Alvi, Abdul Baseer and Sonia Zahoor in “The Pakistani Bride; An
Alternative Viewpoint in Pakistani Literature” (2007) shared their views about
gender based society and male dominance over women. They highlighted the aspect
of women lives that is usually dismissed and ignored in almost all the cases.
Women are thought to be only puppets in the hands of their male community who
have no specific identity and act exactly according to the gestures made by
their male partners. In the above mentioned article the researchers focuses on
the struggle of women for maintaining a safe and well recognized identity along
with performing all the household activities and fulfillment of the desires and
wishes of their men. Although some of them bear a lot of physical and mental
troubles and hardships but still they are not ready to give up the quest for
their real identification. Researchers state:

Bapsi
Sidhwa tells with a very strong interest and involvement about the condition of
women in Pakistani gender biased class structure and pushed the concept of the
denial of women which has a significant place in the Pakistani national and
domestic grounds and presented such female characters who resist the
limitations of patriarchal definition of women by showing them as strong to run
the daily affairs of life without spoiling their identity. (Dildar 3).

                                   6.Research
Methodology

The
theoretical background of this research draws upon the theory of feminism. “The
Subjection of Women” (1869) is an essay by John Stuart Mill. Mill is best known
for his work on the rights of individual, work on tyranny of majority and work on
women’s rights. In Mill’s time, woman was considered a subject to the whims of
her husband or father. The inequality was due to the social norms which said
women were less able than men, both physically and mentally. As subjection of
women is considered universal there is no proof to refute this. The subjugation
of women divides human race into two, giving male the full authority to control
the other race i.e. female. “In Subjection of Women” (1869), Mill incorporates
his opinion as:

In
contrast with this, the system of the subjection of women

(1)
is universal; there are no vivid examples of prosperous rejections of it; and

(2)
is immediately gratifying to half of the human race, namely the male half: ‘The
clodhopper exercises. . . . his share of the power equally with the highest
nobleman’. And it has a third feature that favours its survival over absolute
monarchy, namely. (6)

A
person who wishes to exert his complete desire can fulfill his desire by
practicing his power upon those who are close to him. In other words, for a
male to express his ultimate authority over a female, he must seek those who
are common to him. An example we find in The Bride (1983) is of the
relationship of father and daughter. Qasim being a father shows his authority
by controlling her major decision of her life, for example marriage. As a
father, he subjugates his daughter since she is the only female personality in
his life who is close to him. Hence Mills stance of

.
. . Everyone who desires power desires it most over those who are nearest to
him, with whom his life is passed, with whom he has most concerns in common and
in whom any independence of his authority is oftenest likely to interfere with
his individual preferences. . . . Also, the possessors of the power provided by
the subjection of women are better placed than any absolute monarch to prevent
any uprising against the system (Mill 7).

illustrates the subjection of women

The study incorporates Mill’s argument on
subjection of women and the individual benefits that one may get after gaining
freedom from the shacks of manly control. Through the various female characters
and subjugation by their husbands