The cult of Chastity: A Feministic Study of the Pearl S. Buck’s The Mother

  • Kamal Kumar PhD Research Scholar Department of English, University of Jammu
Keywords: Chastity, freedom, oppression, sexual morality, Confucius society, humility


Pearl S. Buck’s novel The Mother provides a glimpse of pre-revolutionary China and status of women in that society. She through her novels brings into light that how society influenced the minds of the women turning them into mere slaves and restricting or denying them the freedom and the fulfillment of their desires. The sexual morality of a woman was a main concern or issue that the Confucius society of China imposed upon on them. It proposed certain codes and conduct of behavior which were to be strictly followed by all women that included the virtues of silence, patience, humility, obedience and chastity. In a male dominated society like China, women were deprived of all social, political and legal rights and were often rendered as weak, inferior and worthless creatures. The present research paper undertakes the study of this novel which deals with the feminine oppression and marginalization in a feudal society and the deep rooted cult of feminine chastity among the Chinese through the story of her nameless protagonist ‘the mother.’ The chastity of women was a prime focus in Chinese culture and whatever the circumstances were she had to live up to that. Buck through this novel gives the universal portrait of the eternal mother who lives through her loneliness, despair and frustration.


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