Pangs of Domestic Violence in Shashi Deshpande’s The Dark Holds No Terrors

  • D Muneesvaran Assistant Professor of English, Saraswathi Narayanan College, Madurai


Shashi Deshpande’s first novel is The Dark Holds No Terrors. She is a Winner of Sahitaya Academy Award and the Nanjangud Thirumalamba Award. Shashi Deshpande’s novel deals with theme of the quest for female freedom and identity. The Dark Holds No Terrors depicts the life of the protagonist, Sarita, a lady doctor who has been burdened by event from past and present. She feels like an animal trapped by her own guilty feelings. She still remembers her mother’s bitter word uttered in her childhood when she was not able to save her brother from drowning. Now her mother is dead and Sarita returns to the family home, ostensibly to take care of her father but in reality to escape the nightmarish brutality her husband inflicting on her every night, because she becomes the dominant breadwinner in the family. Sarita in the lull of her old father’s company wants to forget all her grief. she reflects on the events of her life, which includes her small town childhood, her tyrannizaing mother, her marriage to the charismatic Manoher, her children etc. At last, Sarita gradully realizes her arduous journey and learns to free herself of guilt, shame, and humiliation. “You are your own refuge. There is no other refuge. This refuge is hard to achieve”.

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