The Mistress of Spices is a lower known and less heard of novel by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. Whenever we talk about Indian writing in English, the names that pop up in our minds is that of Chetan Bhagat or Arundhati Roy but Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, another prominent writer, highlights disapprove women protagonists ,living in two cultures , their alienation , isolation , exile , mentaltrauma , dispersion, dislocation on the level of disapproval consciousness particularly.

The different roles and behaviours of males and females are shaped and reinforced by gender norms within the society. There are social expectations that define appropriate behaviour of males and females. The desire of the female to break free of the shackles of orthodox society, that views males and females through different glasses, is shown in this novel through various characters.

Ahuja - Lalita

Ahuja is an example of the abusive husband who indulges in domestic violence. He is an egoistic middle- aged man who cheated his wife into marriage by sending her family an old photo of himself. Lalita’s movement is paralysed by strict vigilance of her husband who basically is the embodiment of patriarchy in this novel.

Tilo, the protagonist of the novel , is a modern woman who does the forbidden by falling for a man Raven. He, an American, whose roots are Indian, is an ideal man despite having a relationship full of friction with his mother. He is caring lover and an empathetic too. Tile chooses Raven over the spices and in the end looses all her powers.

Divakaruni depicts both old and new generation of men and women with different gender problems. This is a women centric novel and so we see males at the periphery. Despite them being at the periphery, we discover that they are no less patriarchal or egoist.



Profile of Ud
Ud  •  3y  •  Reply
Very well written..keep it up!!Please check out my articles too!! :)
Profile of Akshay Kumar
Akshay Kumar  •  3y  •  Reply
Seems like a good read. I think i can give this book a try. Thanks for your words about it.