What is realism ? Realism emerged as a movement in the late 1950s . In classical era common man not represented. They wanted to represent middle class society. The stories revolved around middle class families. There was a shift from previous writing. The claim was that a work of art was a representation of life, reality and nature. The idea of realism was introduced in India. Earlier this concept did not exist in India. They believed that through realistic mode you can represent life. Unified mode of representation. There was a coherent way in which setting , characters and language. One could not think beyond certain categories. Women writing autobiographical wanted to explore and express themselves. They wanted a place to represent their female consciousness. They believed in the concept of essence. They used realistic mode of representation.
There was a shift in the 20th century in terms of women understanding their essence. Writers after 1950s did not want a realistic mode of representation. This is because you cannot go beyond certain categories. There was a subversion of traditional forms. They began to problematise gender construction. There was the experimentation with the form.
The Feminist Tradition.
Many women novelists were writing in the language of men during the 19th century. There was the lack of a strong tradition. There were only a few women who wrote. These women came to represent all women. The minor writers were neglected. Another thing was that women writers did not bring sex to define their identity. Desexing in women's writing. They did not want to look at the role of gender. Experiences of only elite women were represented and not the ordinary women.
There are three phases. The first one being imitation and internalisation. How women adopt the values of the patriarchy system. The second phase was the protest phase. Women began to protest the standards set by the society. Third phase was called the female phase wherein they discovered their identity.
Women characters in women's writing do not enjoy the sense of freedom.they create male characters who are strong . This is so because the writer longs for
freedom. Woman characters portrayed as men . This was how women's writing was in the initial stages. They could not go beyond domestic space. They could not create female characters explicitly. In this phase they imitated the male writers. The protest phase was when feminism evolved. At this phase they moved to the next level. They moved on to fantasy. There was the emergence of group. Women were emotionally attached to other women. This gave rise to lesbianism . And this can be reflected in their writing. In the last phase they produced literature of their own during the 20th century.