Marriage and Child Birth: Paradigms of ‘Social Imaginary’ in Githa Hariharan’s ‘The Thousand Faces of Night’

Keywords: Social imaginary, Marriage, Child birth, Individuality, Tradition, Myth, Rituals, Dream sequence, Gods, Godesses


Marriage in Indian concept is undoubtedly knotted with chastity and fulfillment of duties towards spouses. A persistent view of the society inclines these so- called virtues solely to women- the gender that plays the role of ‘relationship savior’ in most of the marriages. Githa Hariharan, an  editor and well known Indian writer in her first novel ‘The Thousand Faces of Night’,  chose to position women in an arena of idealizing themselves as perfect married off ladies in the society. The three central figures of the novel, Devi, her Amma, Sita and Grandmother are seen in different sequences speaking and performing acts of ‘dharma’ or duties to life. in relation to the enactment of their corresponding roles such as wife, daughter in law , mother and numerous other which does not fall under the roof of marital bonds. Devi’s grandmother takes her through flights of mythical stories and seals her within the walls of trust and fidelity in a married life. The female central character ponders over each story narrated to her by her grandmother and hears mind voices thus placing herself in a world of Social Imaginary. The imaginary (or social imaginary) is the set of values, institutions, laws, and symbols through which people imagine their social whole. It is common to the members of a particular social group and the corresponding society.

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How to Cite
Siddiq, S. (2022). Marriage and Child Birth: Paradigms of ‘Social Imaginary’ in Githa Hariharan’s ‘The Thousand Faces of Night’. Shanlax International Journal of English, 10(3), 1-3.