Representation of Women in the Partition Fiction: A Study through the short stories of Saadat Hasan Manto


  • Dilip Hazarika Asst Professor, Dept. of English, Dudhnoi College



violence, trauma, agony, gaze


The partition of India had led to a holocaust of almost one million deaths and displacement of innumerable numbers on the both side of the border. Out of this huge numbers of casualties the number of women’s death was not less than one lakh. This loss of life and property as well as separation from near and dear ones created a vacuum which could only be realistically portrayed through fiction. Partition fiction recreates that tumultuous period, through dramatization of emotions like anger, hatred, jealousy in order to enable the readers to re-live the past.  However, there is a difference in magnitude and intensity to the sufferings of women than of men which most of the fictions failed to deal with. The pain and agony of women were never heard clearly in the bustling sound of violence. An in-depth study of stories of Khuswant Singh, Bapsi Sidhwa, Bhisam Sahni, Saadat Hasan Manto etc. will show that women were not only the subject to communal hatred and suspicion of that time, they were also subject to predatory gaze and beastly lust of the attackers. They suffered humiliation before their death. Even those who survived the onslaught could not overcome the traumatic pain that they went through. Because their pain was not only physical, it had a psychological dimension too. In the stories of Manto, we find a poignant and sensitive portrayal of the pitiable and traumatic condition of women during the partition. In this paper, an attempt is made to explain the psychological impact of the violence on the women through analyzing selected stories of Saadat Hasan Manto.


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Author Biography

Dilip Hazarika, Asst Professor, Dept. of English, Dudhnoi College

Dilip Hazarika completed his master degree in English in 2011 from Tezpur University, Assam. Since 2013, he has been working as an assistant professor in the Department of English, Dudhnoi College. He has published several articles in international peer reviewed journal. His area of interest is Indian English literature and Scandinavian literature. It is more of   passion than of profession that draws him to the job of teaching.


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How to Cite

Hazarika, D. “Representation of Women in the Partition Fiction: A Study through the Short Stories of Saadat Hasan Manto”. International Journal of Management and Development Studies, vol. 13, no. 1, Jan. 2024, pp. 16-21, doi:10.53983/ijmds.v13n1.003.