A Study of Body and Inscribed Gender Roles in Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus

Surinder Kaur | Assistant Professor, Department of English, S.G.A.D. Govt. College, Tarn Taran
Email: sandhu.surinder85@gmail.com

Human body has always been the subject of learned discussion. Bodies are controlled, supervised and continuously molded to fit within the constraints of heterosexuality. Gender is considered as the natural part of the body. Bodies are categorized on the basis of gender roles: masculine and feminine. Gender theorists have investigated the terms sex and gender and the accepted natural link between the two. These theorists have concluded that while male, female sex is the biology of the body, masculine and feminine genders are cultural constructs. Bodies’ adherence to these gender norms is only an act, a performance. This paper analyzes Angela Carter’s novel Nights at the Circus (1984) from the point of view that gender is a mask, a camouflage, a performance. As Butler notes that if we carry out these gender performances differently, we might be able to disturb the restrictive categories. At the same time feminist critic Luce Irigaray notes that masquerade has the power to thwart the original concept. So she argues that through exaggerated femininity, women can bring out the hollowness of this notion. Characters’ behaviour in the novel clearly indicates that gender is only an illusion maintained to suppress the revolutionary elements. As in the novel, female characters flaunt femininity and but have masculine traits and are strong and successfully challenge the conventional thinking. Male characters are mere caricatures; they are weak and unconfident totally at odds with the gender norms.
Keywords: body, feminine, masculine, gender, performance, culture, natural, construct

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Reflection of Social Reality in Romantic Literature: The Case of Chimney-sweepers

Abhishek Chowdhury | Assistant Professor, Department of English, Chakdaha College
Email: abhishekchowdhury1990@gmail.com

Whatever the Aesthetes say in favour of the autonomy of art, by flaunting the slogan ‘Art for Art’s Sake’, no amount of abstraction can sever art and literature from their roots in real life – life lived as a throbbing interweave of joy and sorrow, dream and actuality, hope and despair. Any form of art is cradled in and nurtured by the actualities of human experience, social and private. Therefore, it would be no travesty to say that literature and society are co-extensive and symbiotic. The symbiosis between literature and society is an abiding principle of human history. It is a commonplace of criticism to dissociate the Romantic from the real. But it appears to be a fallacy in the logic of criticism. The most sensitive Romantic is paradoxically most keenly aware of the pinpricks of real life. A revolution is a co-ordinate of socio-political and economic history. But it creeps into the vision of a poet. So a poet and society or an artist and morals are not apart, not irrespective of each other. William Blake was very much aware of the socio-political scenario of industrial London, and he did not escape from urban society. Rather he dealt with problems like child labour, chimney sweeping (which were vicious outcome of industrial revolution) in his poems and his poems were actually a protest against these socio-political evils. This paper tries to throw light on this aspect of Romantic literature taking cognizance of the fact that art and literature are not lying but merely a fine excess of the essence of life.
Key words: romantic, society, child labour, chimney sweeping

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Romeo and Juliet: A statue of liberty

Olivia Coulomb
Blaise Pascal University, Clermont-Ferrand, IHRIM (Institut d’Histoire des Représentations et des Idées dans les Modernités), France email: ocoulomb@hotmail.com


If Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet remains legendary for its love story, it is much less renowned for its embodiment of liberty. Indeed, as both Romeo and Juliet try to find a way to love each other freely versus their families’ enmity, their actions and reactions turn them more and more into still characters resembling lifeless sculptures. Besides, Friar Laurence explains the effect of his potion to Juliet in quite deadly and sculptural terms: “No warmth, no breath shall testify thou livest. / The rose in thy lips and cheeks shall fade / To wanny ashes, thy eyes’ windows fall / Like death when he shuts up the day of life. / Each part, deprived of supple government, / Shall, stiff and stark and cold, appear like death” (4.1.98-102). As for Romeo, in his quest for freedom and love, he gradually becomes the statue of himself, cold, colourless and still.
Thus, in this paper, I propose to explore first the complexity of family ties in 16th century England through the title characters of Romeo and Juliet. Then, I will study the protagonists’ paralysis as a way to reach freedom, codified by opposed aesthetic vision. This will eventually lead me to analyse and to reassess the vision of freedom and sculpture in early modern England, so as to demonstrate that with the ultimate statue of the star-crossed lovers, a truly original conception of art is actually revealed.

Keywords: Art, Shakespeare, Freedom, Romeo and Juliet, Early Modern England

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Historical Dimensions of Piracy as a Maritime Crime

Sreemoyee Sarkar | PhD Research Scholar, Department of International Relations, Jadavpur University
email: sreemoyee_s@hotmail.com

This paper tries to throw light to a very different façade of maritime crimes of Indian Ocean and its imprint in contemporary literature.The response of the affected littoral states and geo-political schemes in the international and regional level are the major areas of concern so far, for the policy-makers, academicians and intellectuals as well. The international dimensions of related strategic developments in the pelagic waterways of Indo-Pacific region also trace out the socio-economic and political paradigm shifts in it. The age of imperialism and the consequent post-Cold War era has heralded a socio-politico-economic-strategic shift from Colonization to Globalisation. The liberalization process and the formation of a new global economic order clearly opened the eyes of the international community to strengthen its economic bonds more with other developed and developing regional organisations. This has led to enhanced international maritime concerns, since most regional trade is sea-borne. Despite ‘maritime bonding’, the Indian Ocean has unfortunately not seen the emergence of a vibrant trans-oceanic community. The problem plaguing the Indian Ocean is lack of “channelized” efforts towards addressing maritime challenges.

Key words: Maritime Crimes, Indian Ocean, Colonisation, International Community

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Dynamics of Wastage, Retention and Internal Efficiency of School Education of Jhalda Blocks of Purulia District, West Bengal

Susmita Sengupta | Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Rabindra Mahavidyalaya, Champadanga  email: ssg.serampore2016@gmail.com


The purpose of the present study was to investigate the magnitude of wastage and internal efficiency of school education of Jhalda Blocks of Purulia district, one of the most backward districts of West Bengal. An attempt was also made to measure the retention rate to understand the status of educational development of the study area. Secondary data source from School Inspector’s Office of Jhalda Blocks along with data from DISE (2007-08 to 2014-15) have enriched the present study. Systematic sampling method was used to select the schools of the Jhalda blocks. It consisted of twenty Primary schools of both blocks (ten from each) and two from Municipality area to measure primary level wastage, one Upper Primary school from each block to capture the middle level wastage and all Higher Secondary Schools for upper level wastage phenomenon. While selecting schools, pockets of high dropout and repetition, abundance of backward caste population, more specifically concentration of first generation learners were given high priority. Student flow ratios and Cohort analysis act as instruments of the present study to ascertain the wastage and efficiency of the school education of the study area. The study revealed that the school education system has been suffering from high level of wastage during the period 2007-08 to 2014-15 and the system is not efficient internally. Based on the findings some suggestions have been employed in order to minimize repetition and dropout rate and to increase the promotion and completion rates.

Key words: Survival, wastage, internal efficiency, reconstructed cohort

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Water Management at Gajoldoba: A Study on the Changes in the Environment and Bio-diversity

Monoranjan Sarkar | UGC Senior Research Fellow, Department of History, University of North Bengal

A number of dams and barrages have been constructed over the Teesta River on its 414 KM. journey to sea from its source in Sikkim. These include two hydro electricity dams in Sikkim; Teesta Barrage at Gajoldoba and Teesta Barrage at Lalmonirhat (Bangladesh). Besides referring the other projects over Teesta River the present paper will attempt to examine the project at Gajoldoba and its effects on environment around the locality of Gajoldoba and northern part of West Bengal. It is to be noted that the Teesta Barrage Project at Gajoldoba is one of the largest irrigation project of eastern India, supplying water to the six district of northern West Bengal and to date only certain sections of the project have been completed. However, the project resulted in the increase of sedimentation and siltation of the river, braiding, and growth of the chars (sandbars) in the river bed, in the lower wave, which have had a significant impact on local flora and fauna, and caused flooding and river bank erosion. It also affected the life of the fish stock and species of birds. As we know that a number of previously common fishes such as Boroli, Chitol, Boal, Maha soal, Shol, Gojar Baghari are no longer available today. Similarly the coming of the birds (White Bird, Red Crested Pochard, Bar Headed, Cormrents, Tufted Duck, Northern Lapwing etc) from the different parts of the world is decreasing due to several causes. Overall in this paper it is observed that the project resulted in terrible pressure on the environment.

Key words: Teesta River, Barrage, local environment, irrigation, biodiversity

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Sweet Recollections with a Tinge of Sadness: Toru Dutt and her ‘Our Casuarina Tree’

Saptarshi Mallick | Independent Scholar | email: saptarshieng@gmail.com


Torulata Dutt is unquestionably the mistress of the verbal medium of her choice. Her ‘Our Casuarina Tree’ was published posthumously in 1882 in the collection entitled as Ancient Ballads and Legends of Hindusthan (Dutt 1972) which also contained narratives borrowed from Sanskrit classics. This essay critically explores that the poem is a fine blend of local touches, literary reminiscences, and a golden recollection of childhood memories and associations. It summarises all that Dutt represents – a grieving and ailing Toru left alone after the death of her sister Aru. Her poetry which is a Keatsian contemplation and meditation upon the ephemerality of life is marked by a dexterity in the use of the language and the metre, a power of reminiscing life in its colours and depth along with a note of melancholy which infuses the human heart. The sudden demise of her sister and brother brought in a deep strain of melancholy in her nature, becoming at once dominant tones in her poetry making them autobiographical and such is the undercurrent in the whole of Toru Dutt’s creative period from 1870 – 1877.

Key words: Toru Dutt, memory, nostalgia, longing, universalism

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সাম্প্রতিক বাংলা কবিতায় অ্যালিউশন

মিঠুনকুমার দে | গবেষক, বিশ্বভারতী

২০০৭ সালে Terry Eagleton একটি বই লেখেন যার নাম ‘How To Read A Poem’ । এই বইয়ের একটি জায়গায় তিনি পাশ্চাত্যের বিখ্যাত একজন সমালোচককে উল্লেখ করে জানান যে এরা সকলেই সাহিত্য-সমালোচনায় হয় নস্টালজিকভাবে, কিংবা আদর্শগত মৌল তাড়নায় সমাজ-ইতিহাসকে সর্বাধিক গুরুত্ব দিতে শুরু করেন। এই দলে যেমন ছিলেন উনিশ শতকীয় F.R Leavis, I.A Richards, William Empson প্রমুখ; তেমনি ছিলেন বিশ শতকের Mikhail Bakhtin, Eric Auerbach, Walter Benjamin, Kenneth Burke, Edward Said প্রমুখ স্বনামধন্য ব্যক্তিবর্গ।

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পশ্চিমবঙ্গের আর্থ-সামাজিক রাজনৈতিক অবস্থার প্রেক্ষিতে সমরেশ মজুমদারের উপন্যাস চতুষ্টয়

কৈলাশপতি সাহা | সহকারি অধ্যাপক, রামানন্দ সেন্টেনারি কলেজ | email: kailashpatisaha60@gmail.com

স্বাধীনতার তিন বছর আগে ১৯৪৪ খ্রিস্টাব্দে সমরেশ মজুমদারের জন্ম। ১৯৬৭ খ্রিস্টাব্দে বাংলা কথাসাহিত্যে গল্পকার রূপে তাঁর আত্মপ্রকাশ। প্রথম উপন্যাস ‘দৌড়’ (১৯৭৭) – বিষয় ভোগবাদী সভ্যতার অবিরাম অক্লান্ত প্রতিযোগিতার দৌড়। ঘোড়া দৌড়ের মাঠ এখানে প্রতীক। গোটা দুনিয়াটাই যেন রেসের মাঠ। সমাজ পরিবেশকে বড় ক্যানভাসে প্রতীকে, ব্যঞ্জনায় এভাবে জাগিয়ে তোলার মধ্যে নিহিত ছিল সমরেশ মজুমদারের ঔপন্যাসিক প্রতিভার পূর্ণ বিকাশের আভাস। এই আভাস পরিপূর্ণতা পেল তাঁর মহাকাব্যপ্রতিম উপন্যাস চতুষ্টয়ে। স্বাধীন ভারতের আর্থ-সামাজিক রাজনৈতিক অবস্থার প্রেক্ষিতে সংলগ্ন এই উপন্যাসগুলিতে যেমন একটি বিরাট দেশকালের চিত্র আছে, তেমনি আছে মানব সম্পর্কের ঘাত- প্রতিঘাতের অন্তর্নিহিত বয়ান। খণ্ডিত স্বাধীনতা প্রেক্ষাপটে ‘উত্তরাধিকার’(১৯৭৯) উপন্যাসের সূচনা। নায়ক অনিমেষের শৈশব থেকে কৈশোরে পদার্পণ, ডুয়ার্সের নয়নাভিরাম নির্জন পরিবেশে বেড়ে ওঠা এবং পরিবার ও বিদ্যালয় সূত্রে জেগে ওঠা প্রতিবাদী চেতনার প্রবাহ তাকে পরবর্তী বৃহদায়তন কানিনিতে প্রোটাগনিস্ট চরিত্রে পরিণত করেছে। কাকা প্রিয়তোষের কাছে সে প্রথম শোনে- ‘এ আজাদী ঝুটা হ্যায়’, জানতে পারে কমিউনিস্টদের স্বপ্ন ও সংকল্পের কথা- ‘আমরা কম্যুনিস্ট। আমরা চাই দেশে গরিব বড়লোক থাকবে না, সবাই সমান, তাহলে আমরা স্বাধীন হব।’ এই চেতনার উত্তরাধিকার নিয়ে তরুণ অনিমেষ এল কলকাতায়। এখান থেকে ‘কালবেলা’(১৯৮৩)  উপন্যাসের সূচনা।

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Publisher: Dr Ramsankar Pradhan,
Ramananda Centenary College, Laulara, Purulia,
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