Counter-Narrative as a Powerful Narrative Technique for the Voice of the Voiceless in The Palace of Illusions
Keywords:Counter-Narrative, Critical Race Theory, Gender resistance, Resilience, Narrative technique, Stories of resistance, Myth, Modernity, Voice of the Voiceless, Patriarchy, Humiliation, Archetype, Feminism, Identity, Stereotype, Intercultural dialogue
India is a land of myth and legends. Indian epics are archives of our history and precedent culture which depicts what happened in the times of yore. They tell us about the events and developments that shaped our culture. Epics dole out as a testimony of our culture. Many Indian writers craft their plot from epics of Hindu mythology which is used as a literary device. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni uses Hindu mythology in her works broadly to instill audacity in her woman protagonists. She tries to demonstrate how myths steer women to surmount their conflicts in life. Her novels explicate how myths instruct humanity to lead a virtuous life. Draupadi, the heroine of The Mahabharata is presented through a fictional perspective in Divakaruni’s novel The Palace of Illusions, (2008). It is a retelling of The Mahabharata, from the perspective of Draupadi. She breaks the stereotype of a conventional heroine in Indian literature. Counter-narration is a method of telling the stories of those people whose experiences are not often misrepresented or untold. It is also a tool for uncovering, examining, and stimulating mainstream historical texts. The author uses counter-narrative techniques in the novel to counter the position of women in The Mahabharata era addressing the prejudice, difficulties, and the male dominance that they had experienced. A descriptive analysis enumerates upon the author’s use of the counter-narrative technique in the novel through a detailed description of plot, settings, and characterization. Divakaruni midst of suffering has overcome the predicaments she faced challenging the old age convention that women must accept tradition and society without questioning. Draupadi could endeavour the subversion where most women would have given up. Narrative technique is the art of narrating a story in a literary work by using various techniques. The narrative technique is vastly an aesthetic enterprise. The feature of the narrative includes characters with clear personalities or identities and integrated dialogues. Through Draupadi’s life author dispels outdated notions about what it means to be a woman. The author explores the ancient and personal experiences of Draupadi, as distinct from the original Mahabharata. Draupadi ends up being the most nuanced and divisive female character in Hindu literature. Draupadi is an archetypal representation of the pain and humiliation a woman experiences in a patriarchal society. The lives of women have not changed over time, whether it is the ancient or the modern era. There are still challenges to overcome the situations that call for specific actions. The novel The Palace of Illusions demonstrates the hardships a princess-born woman had to endure.
Barbara W. Tuchman. BrainyQuote.com. Brainy Media Inc, 2023. 6 March 2023. https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/
Bhawalkar Vanamala. Eminent Women in the Mahabharata. Sharada Publishing, 2002.
Black, B. “Eavesdropping on the Epic: Female Listeners in The Mahabharata” Gender and Narrative in the Mahabharata. Eds. S Brodbeck and B. Black. 2007.
Brodbeck, S. and B. Brian, eds. Gender and Narrative in the Mahabharata. Routledge, 2007.
Das, Saptorshi. “Vyasa's: Draupadi: A Feminist Presentation”. International Journal of Gender and Women's Studies. June, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2014.
Diesel, Allyen. “Tales of Women's suffering: Draupadi and other Amman Goddesses as Role Models for Women”, Journal of Contemporary Religion, 7: 1, 5-20. DOI: 10.1080/1353790012098138. 2002.
Divakaruni, Chitra Lekha Banerjee. The Palace of Illusions. Picador, 2008.
Ganguli Kisari Mohan. The Mahabharata of Vyasa. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd,1990.
Kipling Rudyard. “A Choice of Kipling's Verse”, 1943. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems. 6. March 2023.
Mani, Chandra Mauli. Memorable Characters from The Ramayana and The Mahabharata. Northern Book Centre, 2009.
Solorzno, D.G., Yosso, T.J. “Critical Race Methodology: Counter- storytelling as an Analytical Framework for Education Research”. Qualitative inquiry, Vol: 8(1).
Stephen Sawchuk. What is critical race theory and why is it under attack/ https://www.edweek.org/leadership/ 2021/05, 7, March 2023.
Vyasa, Veda. The Mahabharata. Trans. Kisari Mohan Ganguli. Munshuram Manoharlal, 1993.
William Blake. “Songs of Innocence and Experience”. Jsylvor. https://blogs.baruch.cuny.edu, 2018, 5, March 2023.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 The Creative Launcher
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.