Banaras as Text: Representation of Widows in Mona Verma’s The White Shadow

Ankur Konar

Assistant Professor, Department of English, Sir Rashbehari Ghosh Mahavidyalaya. Email:

  Volume VII, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.25274/bcjms.v7n1.en-v7-01-01


The interplay of suppression, oppression, repression, compression of identity is an apt summary of the widows living in India. Such long practiced derelict, desolate state of the widows marks them to be somewhat ‘unwanted’ in our so called progressive society. This article will take up Mona Verma’s novel The White Shadow, a novel set in the city of widows, that is Banaras, to discuss how the five-year-old Brinda is widowed after being married for a few hours. The child widow becomes an unwanted figure as her family refuses to take her back and she is placed in the Nirmala Ashram, the marginal place within the centre of the city. Allied with a sense of metaphor, this marginalisation relegates Brinda in particular and the widows in general to be parasitic in nature, lacking any individual identity. Taking cue from some social studies on widowhood this article will focus on how Banaras becomes vibrant with the voices of these silent widows!

Keywords:  Banaras, City, Urban, Widow

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