Chitra Benarjee Divakaruni’s ‘Palace of Illusions’ is The Mahabharata from feminine point of view. Here Draupadi is depicted as the protagonist of the story and the entire story of Mahabharata is related from her perspective. Her feelings, aspirations, wishes and desires and her mindset and ideology, how she was able to cope up with extra ordinary challenges in her life are the core content and plot line of this novel.
We can see the oppression faced by Draupadi at various levels through out the novel.
If you want to interpret a social reality, then you have to rise above caste, creed, religion, region, race, sex and other demographic barriers. The first lessons of patriarchy are learnt in ...view middle of the document...
Individual consciously or unconsciously confirms to the society.
In this novel, Draupadi is always under conflict and many a time, she is forced to act against her will.
She will be compelled to marry five husbands regardless of her choice which puts her in a critical situation throughout her life. Duryodhan looks at Draupadi as a characterless woman. He has no respect for her. But it is not a choice made by herself. She was compelled in to such situation.
In a traditional dichotomy, it is considered that a woman has a body and a man has a mind. To disgrace a woman, disgrace her body. Woman should be subjugated to humiliation. And she is disrobed in the sight of full Palace.
She is always suppressed at different situations of her life. Her relation with her mother-in-law Kunti for example, who always tries to keep Draupadi in hold.
In this novel, it will be prophecised that Draupadi is the change bringing person, deciding the fate of an entire nation. Her destiny is inter-related with fates of many people.
Vyasa warns her in a prophecy to be careful during three most important situations of her life. He prophesizes that destiny is going to speed up its process because of her pride, temper and vengefulness.
When she says that she doesn’t want such fate, she is advised to hold back her question at the time of her marriage. And she is advised to hold back her laughter when her husbands are at the height of their power and thirdly, she is advised to hold back her curse when she is shamed. She is not left with any choices to be made about her own life and despite that, lots of restrictions are laid against her in each and every phase of her life. Draupadi will be in conflict through out the novel. At the same time Draupadi acts...