ISSN (Online): 2583-0090

Rassundari Devi and Dayamadhav: The Mimicry and Self-Fashioning

Authored by
Aritra BanerjeeAritra Banerjee,Visiting Lecturer,Derozio Memorial college
,
Aaheli ChatterjeeAaheli Chatterjee,Student,Bidhannagar Govt. College
on 30/06/2022

Abstract

The eighteenth century colonial Bengal required its women to be secluded in the inner areas of their household , the 'anthapur', to conform to the norms of the gendered narrative of the patriarchal, Rassundari Devi became a voice and mirror of the realities faced by women. In writing her story Rassundari not only exposes the fearful claws of patriarchy but through her transgressions of reading, writing and publishing brings forward the isolated female voice from the kitchen to the courtyard. These massive transgressions are although done under the faith that it in itself is a guidance from the higher power above, her father figure, her Dayamadhav. It is interesting to note how her Vaishnav Religiosity due to the absence of her biological father takes the form of a father archetype. The Godhead, Dayamadhav becomes her respite from fear in the absence of a parenting figure right from her childhood to her death. It is interesting to note that her intense quest to learning is justified by Rassundari herself as a process to progress into an intellectual dialogue which is far removed from the social constraints or imperative norms of the social setup of the eighteenth century Bengal. Her interaction with the Godhead develops a sense of Mimicry in the worshipper, Rassundari. This sense of mimicking her Dayamadhav helps Rassundari acquire a more so, uncanny power of foretelling , a power that makes 'thakurma' pious, holy in spite of her massive transgressions in the rigid, Patrilinear society. This paper stands as an enquiry into Rassundari's pychosexual development and her metamorphosis from her humane, physical existential self into a self with spiritual superiority, a Godly self.


Keywords : Fashioning, Mimicry, Identity, Godhead.


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