ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Positivism and Nationalism-Womanhood and Crisis in Nationalist Fiction-Bankimchandra s Anandmath

Of all the models of social regeneration that arrived from the West in the second half of the nineteenth century, Comte's Positivism appealed most to the Janus-tike intelligentsia of Bengal. It enabled them to look back on the order of the Golden Age of Hindus and at the same time look forward to the progress generated by British rule. Bankimchandra's later novels such as "Anandmath", far from dismissing the modernising influence of Positivism, in fact, represents a crisis in his nationalist consciousness. These novels create a parable of the nationalist confrontation and womanhood becomes the emblem of both the threatened and ravaged order as well as of the resistance to such ravages. Comte's glorification of woman undergoes a sea-change and Bankim's neo- positivist heroine of Anandmath is a fighter to the last who refuses to go back to the 'enclosed space' of domesticity.

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