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Chapter Summary

Faizunnesa's Rupjalal might be interpreted as her attempt to present a counter narrative of masculinity in colonial (Islamic) Bengal. Even though Hinduism as a religion is not mentioned in Jalal's curriculum, the impact of Hindu religion and culture is portrayed throughout the text. The virtuous male characters of Hindu mythology are, however, never mentioned. Jalal's love for Rup is compared to Krishna's love for Radha; at the same time, Fortas the giant is constantly compared to Ravana. The colonial male subject can be heroic in the attempt to protect the guardians of his race - the "inner core of national culture" - in order to protect his identity from annihilation. Faizunnesa's women do not fit into the category of good women created by the Muslim (male) writers of the nineteenth century.

Keywords: colonial (Islamic) Bengal; Faizunnesa; Hinduism; Muslim (male) writers; Rupjalal



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