Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 9 : 3 March 2009
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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The Internal Landscape and the Existential Agony of Women in
Anjana Appachana's Novel LISTENING NOW
A Doctoral Dissertation

M. Poonkodi, Ph.D.


The Joy of writing lies in discovering truths that are otherwise often elusive. With my characters, I embark on a journey that is unpredictable as it is exhilarating. I may think I know them before I begin, but often they prove me wrong, doing and saying things that take me by surprise. They create my story by being who they are. Therefore, for me, writing is an act of discovery. -- Anjana Appachana

Anjana Appachana is undoubtedly one of the famous women writers in Indian English, exploring in her maiden novel Listening Now, the nebulous and fastidious labyrinths of existential psyche of women who are trapped in the universe of absurdity.

The novel Listening Now, which brought overwhelming international reputation to Anjana Appachana has failed to set a stage for much criticism unlike Arundhathi Roy's God of Small Things. In this literary climate, the researcher has taken the most challenging task of studying the cluster of Anjana Appachana's women characters from existential perspective for her doctoral degree.

A perceptive reading of Anjana's novel shows that Anjana as an Indian woman writer, has probed into the landscape of the Indian women's psyche to discover that they are victimized by their own preposterousness. She sympathizes with these women who have made their lives tragic wastes due to their anxiety to fulfill their roles as wives and mothers. Anjana envisions and proposes a milieu wherein women realize the significance of using the freedom to choose and make their lives happy, joyful and most importantly meaningful. Thus she suggests an alternative picture of reality that she has projected in her novel.

The dissertation entitled "The Internal Landscape and The Existential Agony of Women in Anjana Appachana's Novel Listening Now" studies Anjana Appachana's women characters and substantiates that they are existentialists and that Anajana holds the believes of existential thinkers, in major Sartre's and Camus'.

Objectives of the Study

1. To evaluate major women novelists in Indian writing in English with specific reference to Anjana's literary achievements and her focus on psychic conditions of women.
2. To study the history and major concepts of the philosophy of Existentialism.
3. To evaluate the technique of writing adopted by Anjana Appachana in the context of existentialism.
4. To discuss the existential predicaments of the protagonist, Padma.
5. To study the existential characteristics of wives and mothers portrayed in the novel Listening Now. 6. Data for the Study Listening Now written by Anjana Appachana

Methodology Adopted

The methodology advocated by MLA handbook for writers of Resource Papers, Sixth edition has been followed for the purpose of Documentation, End notes and Quotation and Bibliography.

Significance of the Study

The thesis is the result of an attempt to analyze the lacerated psyche of the protagonist and the other women characters especially the wives and mothers entrapped in domesticity by probing into the philosophy of existentialism as propounded by Jean- Paul Sartre and Albert Camus.

Plan of the Study

Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus believe that man makes his own life. Anjana Appachana also holds their believes and demonstrates that women make or mar their own lives psychically in the absurd domestic world.

An analysis and deduction is attempted in the study undertaken. For this purpose an extensive distribution of thesis over five chapters is presented.

Chapter I Introduction
Chapter II Existential Thinkers and Their Concept of Human Existence
Chapter III The Protagonist and Her Existential Predicaments
Chapter VI The Existential agony of Wives and Mothers in Anjana's Novel
Chapter VII Conclusion

This is only the beginning part of the Dissertation. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE DISSERTATION IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

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M. Poonkodi M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.
Department of English
School of Science and Humanities
Karunya University
Coimbatore- 641114, Tamilnadu
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