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European Journal Language Studies
Vol. 2 No. 1, 2015
ISSN 2057-4797
EXPLORING THE INDIA IN SHOBHA DE’S NOVEL ‘SECOND THOUGHT’: A
CULTURAL APPROACH TO CDA
*Tazanfal Tehseem, **Sidra Akbar Niazi
Department of English, University of Sargodha
PAKISTAN
*The author is a lecturer
** The author is an M. Phil scholar
ABSTRACT
This article aims to investigates cultural codes and theirs significance in Shobha de’s novel
‘Second Thoughts’ which is the story of Indian girl, Maya who is victimized as silent sufferer
in the clutches of matrimonial relationship in the city of India, Bombay. This effort used
‘Cultural Approach to CDA(CCDA) as a practical tool to analyze how the discourse is
embedded with cultural codes, and how semiotics contribute in the recurrent practice of
power abuse. It seeks to expose the global dictionary of power and manipulation by focusing
on certain passages or clauses and metaphorical references present in the novel which reflects
the culture, norms and social beliefs of Indian community. It also took deep insight into
Indian cultural diversity, unequal distribution of power like gender discrimination, racism and
marginalization.
Keywords: CCDA, Cultural codes, CDA, abuses of power.
INTRODUCTION:
This paper is a sober attempt to study the Indian culture through Shobha De’s novel ‘Second
Thoughts’ with the help of Cultural Approach to CDA(CCDA). This approach explores the
ways in which discourse is embedded with the cultural codes and it studies the reproduction
and abuse of power with the discourse. CCDA is a practical tool for decoding the cultural
semiotics. Before discussing Shobha de there is need to define general principles of CCDA
that can be applied for verbal and non- verbal practices alike, and also for factual and
fictional discourses. The focus of CCDA on the cultural aspects of a text (verbal and nonverbal) is informed by the following principles:






No text is independent of its cultural contexts.
Rather than the deconstruction of linguistic structures, the CCDA shall aim to uncover
the cultural and cross-cultural codes embedded in the discourse.
The CCDA employs tools and methodologies taken from the discipline of cultural
studies, such as the heuristic of decoding cultural codes. Cross-cultural or multicultural perspectives facilitate the identification of unique elements belonging to a
specific culture code and thus contribute to the process of decoding cultural codes.
Decoding cultural codes demands not only intimate familiarity with a community’s
language, culture and history. It also demands a special awareness toward the idea
that social and historical creation is treated as a natural event or as the inevitable
outcome of natural characteristics.
The CCDA seeks to expose the global dictionary of power and manipulation by
focusing on specific metaphors and idioms.
CCDA analyzes factual and fictional discourses alike, assuming that a fictional short
story can also act as a repository for cultural codes, and can be implicated in the
reproduction of power abuse just like a political speech can.
Progressive Academic Publishing
Page 27
www.idpublications.org
European Journal Language Studies
Vol. 2 No. 1, 2015
ISSN 2057-4797
Shobha De, (1989- present), a model cum journalist, is hailed as the ultra modern writer in
Indian literary world. Apart from being the author of so many novels like Socialite Evenings
(1989), Starry Nights (1991), Spouse: the truth about marriage ,Uncertain Liaisons (1993)
and Strange Obsession (1992),she has also been the writer of many admired soaps on
television, including India’s second daily serial, Swabhimaan .Shobha De depicts for the first
time a new urban woman. Her novels and essays shatter patriarchal hegemony. People regard
women inferior to men because of their different sex .She seems to be gifted with
extraordinary ability to discuss very sensitive aspects of human life tactfully. In fact as a
writer, she differs considerably from other Indian women novelists writing in English. She
believes in very frank telling of incidents and absolute open-heartedness. We don’t find
anything reserved in her fiction from narrative point of view. The orthodox people in India
criticize her for her open discussion on sexual matters. Despite of all criticism, her fiction has
got tremendous response not only from several European countries but all over the world. It
is no less an achievement.
Shobha De has become the symbol of highlighting different perspectives of woman's freedom
and liberation. She conceives the extra-marital affairs of women as the stroke to break the
traditional and moral values in society. This is one of the most important aspects of her
feminism. Her women are daring and courageous in establishing extra-marital affairs to
satisfy their natural urge. These women are not hesitant in using sex as calculated strategy to
get social and financial benefit. Marriage for them is an insurance against social values. Her
novels can be thematically classified into three groups: firstly, Socialite Evenings and Second
Thoughts are the novels that deal with the themes such as Family, Marriage, Patriarchy, quest
for Identity, struggle for survival and marginality. Secondly, Starry Nights, Sisters and
Strange Obsession(1992) move around the life in film industry, Bollywood and concentrate
basically on lust and sex. And finally, the novels Sultry Days (1994) and Snapshots (1995)
present them anticipation of women and project the ultra-modern lifestyle of neo-rich people.
Shobha De’s fiction portrays the contemporary reality of the rich elite people whether they
are rich businessman, politicians, Bollywood actors, producers, doctors and industrialists. She
delves deep into the hearts of the people and exposes the reality to the world without aiming
to harm anyone. She is straight forward and talks with guts and fearlessness focusing her
work to rule out the dangers developing in the society and to bring the awareness in the
society. Her work is unique, innovative and interesting. De is a true artist who judges the
demand of her modern characters. She is the first among the feminists who lifted the
condition of modern elite females of contemporary India. An alliance with a man grants a
woman heterosexual privileges, many of which are redefined by the law; religion and
families. But, the woman has to pay its price at her own cost, since she has to destroy herself,
her voice, intellect, and personal development, for a man’s need, in these alliances. Thus,
Shobha De rejects compulsory heterosexuality and suggests woman to woman relation or
lesbianism is better than man to woman relationship, which she has depicted in her novels.
She also refuses to participate in the game of competition for man. She confronts her own
sexuality and challenges the norms placed upon her by culture or society.
As a writer, she is gifted with extraordinary ability to discuss the sensitive aspects of human
life and human relationship tactfully. The power of her narration is just wonderful. She is