ADVOCATING FEMININITY – A STUDY OF THE WOMEN CHARACTERS IN THE FICTIONAL WRITINGS OF SIDNEY SHELDON
Keywords:femininity, feminism, patriarchy, stereotype, popular, bestseller
Popular literature is currently occupying a lot of space in the mainframe study of literature. In fact what constitutes popular in the ambit of literature is much debated. With a change in the general structure of the syllabi in all universities, the genre popular literature has become quite a fascinating area and fictional writings that passed off as momentary are now back into discussion and deliberation. The present paper intends to take a look at one such very popular and successful American fictional thriller writer Sidney Sheldon. His works were bestsellers for decades and have been made into movies. The reason to delve into his writings is to study and thereby account for the immense popularity of the writer. What constituted his writings that made him so famous? Starting with question in mind, I discovered, after reading his works, that his women characters were very much every woman’s inspiration. Coming from the pen of a male writer, these women are dynamic, ambitious and versatile, challenging the established patriarchal code. These women are not squeamish about their independence and their garrulous nature often lands them in trouble. Sheldon was writing when the second wave of feminism was in vogue in the U.S.A and given the context of the second wave of feminism these characters were very welcome. The paper delves into the heart of these women who challenged patriarchy.
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