A Comparative Study of Pecola and Gyanoda: Sex, Violence and Beauty in the Bluest Eye and Arakshaniya
Saratchandra Chattopadhyay (1876-1938) in Arakshaniya (1916) has pictured Gyanoda, a socially abandoned and oppressed Bengali Hindu girl of 12/13 expected to be married off. Unable to endure the sexual violence and cruelties thrown upon her, Pecola in The Bluest Eye (1970) by Toni Morrison (b. 1931) looses her sanity. The colonial- society-constructed idea of beauty, the hurling insults of her schoolmates and neighbors, the perverted assurance of achieving beauty from the pedophile Soaphead Church and above all the sexual violence that she receives from her father leaves her in a dark world. Apart from her friends, she receives sympathy only from socially unaccepted ‘ruined’ women. Unlike Pecola, Gyanoda was restored to the world of love and affection primarily by her mother, younger aunt and then by Atul, her assumed love. Gyanoda, though rejected and humiliated by the family and the society, was not a total rejection as Pecola was. She managed to live on though not in a respected manner. This paper looks into Pecola’s psychic procedural patterns to show how she becomes an object of perversion and violence, which along with the established idea of beauty takes her to the verge of insanity. A comparative study has been done between Pecola and Gyanoda, two characters from two entirely different ethnicities and cultures. However, surprisingly both the characters encounter social hostility for their common characteristic “ugliness.” The very presumption of beauty, violence, and sex lead these young girls to the different worlds of their own. Black and female identities occupy very real political spaces of diaspora, dispossession and resistance. What is complicated is the simultaneity of suffering and power, marginalization and threat, submission and narcissism, which accre to Black and women’s bodies and their representation in racist cultures.--from “Feminism and the Colonial Body” by Kadiatu Kanneth.
Copyright (c) 2018 Sajal Sarkar,Moshref Jahan
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