48 hours after I published “Day out with girls” (link => https://wp.me/p8AfWG-68 ), I expected atleast One to critically analyse the story. I wanted someone to do counter criticism, but too much exposure to Pop fiction, shaped their mind to see beauty in everything, but not the sway behind those.
Here is the critical analysis of the story .
Technically, the writing was influenced by A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf for the Metafiction and the Absurd qualities from Albert Camus. The writing language and style is taken from Bama’s Karukku. It is a simple first person narrative, which was received well by all groups of people.
INTO THE TEXT:
The first person is an “I”, evidentially by the descriptions, it should be a Man. The overall story revolves around him. He is the narrator who communicates with the readers about a day with three teenage girls. He is here a representative of manhood when with women.
The first character introduced was Bubbles. She lies lifeless, with Cindrella on TV. The plot of Cindrella is well-known to everyone. It talks about a girl who falls in love with a man, but can’t be together. By watching the movie, she gratifies her existence imagining herself to escape in the realm of fairy tale. She’s needs to be brought back to life, for she thinks lying dead is peaceful.
The second character introduced was Bunn, who here is mischievous yet cultured. She knows secrets of Bubbles than anyone, which is conveyed when she says “so what if you hadn’t taken a bath, you rarely do!”. She winked at I, to make him feel uncomfortable. I pretends to not listen by burying his face in newspaper.
Here is where Culture plays a role. We all know bathing is everyday activity, but why should a guy pretend to not indulge in such talks with girls? It is because he was brought up with cultural setup where it is abnormal, to discuss those with women.
Again, When Bunn shows Horror movies to Him, he shows a little “feminity” when he’s afraid. Fear is a common emotion to everyone. But emotions too are categorized. That’s the problem there. Everything in the world is categorized into masculine and feminine.
Make-up, mentioned in next paragraph tells about how women covers their dead faces. It’s not about beauty, it’s about feelings again. Bubbles who is in grave sorrow, made herself up to look beautiful, keeping another secret from the world. When a girl reveals she’s in love, when men knew she can’t be had anymore, they subjugate them. To escape this, women don’t reveal their affairs as men do proudly.
The third character is Adyaa, who is the last minute addition. She leads us claiming that she know the routes. The mishap of girls being unable to navigate is because, they don’t travel. Their travel isn’t between the streets but along the roads. This is due to the common belief that women if roam get tanned and bring problems. They will be wooed by stupid men and girls will bear the ill name from the society, despite doing nothing wrong.
The contigency plan, when the shutter was closed, was the best example of how they work. Girls in general seem to be without proper plan, but they often have alternate ideas. Their alternate plans work better than original, but men they have a prime and go after it. This is because for men, the society opens all doors. They can enter and exit any door at ease. But women needs alternate options to somehow get what they want. In this story, it is a place.
The parking, is an example of society being favorable to girls. If it was a guy who asks the Tea-vendor to keep an eye on our bikes, the reaction woud have been different. This shows how our society have changed where women are bold enough to communicate with strangers and those strangers still think women as a weaker sex and empathise them. This is again wrong too.
Dashing cars speaks about the real plight of girls. They were unable to drive it and the man-in-charge, had to help them. The three shared remaining time and stepped down silently when it’s over. Here, men again takes up half whatever a women has. Given enough time, girls would’ve figured out how t operate the cars, but Men want their contribution in whatever a woman does. The tolerance of women is depicted there when despite a very little time, they shared it together, like women share their problems with their community. That very little time is what they expect from the world. Their Own little time, where they are themselves as girls alone.
The lavatory is a typical scenario of any date. Women have their periods and other taboo problems which are kept away from men. Whatever they do, women don’t share with men too. Both genders know about each other’s sexual organs, but still they pretend not to.
That particular paragraph alludes “The Myth of Sisyphus” by Albert Camus, where Sisyphus who was cursed by Gods to repeat the task of rolling a huge rock over the mountain, to see it roll down and again rolling it back on top again. He does this with acceptance and only when he is conscious about his fate, tragedy wins, till then he wins over tragedy. Same way, a neutral there waited. Here, the man can also be taken for a Transgender. The I is with women but can’t be one of them entirely, his Male organ, Penis, stops him from being one of them entirely.
Selfies here represents the lost attempts. Still, they were able to cheer themselves up. This is absolutely something what only women can do. Men needs someone, but women are ofte domesticized to essentialist ideas. Somehow still they figured out how to do that.
Reunion talks about the forgiving quality of girls. They met the one who was believed to be the one who gossipped about them, but still they buried alll their hatred. Same happens when there is a death or funeral in any place. People forget all their negativities and be one. For women, every day is a grieving day for what they miss and what they experience and pretend not.
What will you do if all exboyfriends come together? was the question by mischievours Bunn. The man remained calm when Bubbles chased Adya for her sarcasm. This is overall lives of women. The have endless number of interests and the world often misconceives that everyone is her lover. But as said in the fist paragraphs, only Bubbles knows her sorrows. Still she manages to cheer up. These sorrows are not even known by women who knows physically intimate details about her.
When Bunn tries to say something, a senior comes along who is a Man. As how culture instructed, the girl silently subjugates herself. She, who was bold and cheerful, suddenly was shadowed and made herself invisble. This begins at home when mothers refuses to sit near and equal to fathers in family unions. Maybe in private but who watches inside bathrooms? Socialy Public acceptance is what we need.
The next two paragraphs tells us how the society never lets women express. Many words of the women are left unspoken for women need a definite Time to speak unlike women. Girls do this because right from home, they watch their dependant mothers doing it with the men of the family. These girls inherit that from them and use it on father figures. Twice, Bunn tires to say something personal which is assumably known to him already, but never once she completed it.
The bike ride is the allegorical ride which speaks about little things that matters for a girl. Bubbles, who wants to spend a little more time with freedom, chose to express it. But again, girls aren’t aware what cages are. They know what freedom is, but somehow they grow inside the cage and so they aren’t aware of it like men do.
The darkness was so much that the unnoticed stars, due to invention of bulb by Edison and locomotives by Stevenson which causes light and air pollution, became visible. This is deeply social.
Accomplished women are very fewer in numbers. They get their spotlights and so we see them without efforts. But still there are distant women burning in hegemonic fire, who are forgotten. People and leaders looking at these few women, make the masses believe that women attained liberation. The metropolitan urban women too forget about the Other (ref. The Second Sex). Hence Bubbles relates herself to the stars in the sky and forgets what she wants to speak to “Aru”, which again has no gender.
Towards the end, when she’s done with escapism, again is interrupted while she tries to speak. Before she could even speak, the journey ends. This is the plight of women. They have a lot to speak, but they finally get a spot, a space to speak, it is too late. Women get their own space by age 25, but the cultured setup defined it as “Wedding age”. Before a girl could even speak, when she’s shown freedom, she’s only taken to put in another cage.
In the end, the one who couldn’t speak, never let to speak, had his own time. “He turned back to see if the lights on” speaks about man’s love. The story is not just about how women’s freedom, but also about how a man is instructed to love. He can’t love like girls do. He has his own reservations to love, because that’s how his father loved his mother. He feels not equal but responsible, he thinks himself to protect as how many men guards like a father figure. The “I” here could be a father figure too. That’s why the name wasn’t made open. For names represent everything in the society.
All the four characters in the society are representations of forgotton, common Other. This might be unrelatable to the people of Urban Jungle, but to a diaspora this is very well their whole life.
The story is still open and mutiple interpretation can be made. The girls is the story are weak because they represent the forgotton stars not the bright lights. The “I” is a round character which could be a man, a transgender, a father or even Consciousness of the world, who silently observes everything, who alone accompanies Girls all the time in their life.
The story has psychological, philosophical and social significance which can be seen only if you consider the “Other” when you think.
This is my first short story. Available in the previous blog => https://wp.me/p8AfWG-68 .