Subverting Patriarchal Narratives: Exploring Bhyrappa's Depiction of Sita Through Historiographic Metafiction


  • Anjana S Research Scholar, Sree Ayyappa College for Women, Manonmaniam Sundarnar University
  • Savitha A R Assistant professor, Sree Ayyappa College for Women, Manonmaniam Sundarnar University



Grand narratives, Mythology , Dharma, Sitayana, historiographic metafiction, postmodernism


The Ramayana, the ancient Hindu epic, has been retold and rewritten in various narrative forms by numerous writers from different countries. It has a global appeal that has inspired authors worldwide to create unique Ramayanas. Among these recreations, Bhyrappa's Uttarakaanda stands out with its multiple story views. This research paper, titled “Subverting Patriarchal Narratives: Exploring Bhyrappa’s Depiction of Sita Through Historiographic Metafiction,” delves into the author's methods of retelling the age-old narrative. The present study utilizes the conceptual frameworks of postmodernism, with a particular emphasis on historiographic metafiction. By delving into the deconstruction of grand narratives and questioning traditional elements that impede women's rights, the article aims to shed light on important thematic concerns. Specifically, the primary focus of this research lies in the analysis of the author's work titled 'Sitayana,' where the narrative spotlight is shifted from Rama to Sita. Through a meticulous examination of the author's adept incorporation of alternative perspectives, the paper explores how this approach resonates with both Indian literature and its readership. Moreover, the article critically engages with the power dynamics that influenced Rama's actions and shaped his understanding of dharma.




Download data is not yet available.


Agarwal, Ruchi. “Dharma/Dhamma.” Religions in Southeast Asia: An Encyclopedia of Faiths and Cultures, edited by J.M. Athyal, ABC-CLIO, 2015.

Butter, Michael. “Historiographic Metafiction.” The Encyclopedia of Twentieth- Century Fiction. John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 2010.

Bhyrappa, Santeshivara Lingannaih. Uttarakaanda. Translated by R. Terdal. Eka, 2020.

Gundappa, Devanahalli Venkataramanaiah. “Essays on The Ramayana: An Introduction.” Preksa: A Journal of Culture and Philosophy. 2020,

Hess, Linda. “Rejecting Sita: Indian Responses to the Ideal Man’s Cruel Treatment of His Ideal Wife.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, vol. 67, no. 1, 1999, pp. 1-32,

Hawthrone, Jeremy. A Glossary of Contemporary Literary Theory. Edward Arnold, 1994.

Hutcheon, Linda. A Poetics of Postmodernism. Routledge, 1988.

Iyengar, Vidya. “Activism detrimental to creativity: Writer SL Bhyrappa.” The New Indian Express, 2020, October 28,

Iyengar, Kodanganallur Ramaswami Srinivasa. Sitayana: Epic of the Earth-born. Samata Books, 1987,

Joy, Dhanya. “Paralogy of Petit Narration: A Lyotardian Reading of James Cameron's Titanic.” Quest Journal, vol. 7, no. 5, 2019, pp. 31-38.

Kishwar, Madhu. “Yes, to Sita, No to Ram! The Continuing Popularity of Sita in India.” Manushi, 1997, pp. 20-31,,%20No%20to%20Ram.pdf

Lyotard, Jean-François. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Translated by Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi. Manchester University Press, 1984.

Mangharam, Muktilakhi. “Rama, Must I Remind You of Your Divinity?” Diacritics, vol. 39, no. 1, 2009, pp. 75-104,

Munslow, Alan. Deconstructing history (2nd ed.). Routledge, 2006.

NoorBakhsh, Fariba, and Fazel Asadi Amjad. “Three Approaches toward Historiography: The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Possession, and Waterland.” A Journal of Literature, Culture and Literary Translation, vol. 7, no. 1, 2016,

“‘Power changed Rama’: S.L. Bhyrappa in Uttarakanda seen through Sita’s eyes.” Churumuri, 15 January 2017,

Prakash, Pooja. A Study on women characters portrayed in the Rāmāyaṇa., n.d.

Sharaph, Ramanjaneya. “Uttarakaanda by S. L. Bhyrappa.” Indica Today, 13 September 2020,

Sim, Stuart (Ed.). The Lyotard Dictionary. Edinburgh University Press, 2011.

“Sitas with a voice”. The Times of India, 2020, December 16

Taylor, Victor E., and Charles E. Winquist (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Postmodernism. Routledge, 2001.

Tiwari, Aditi. “Revisiting Ramayana And Its Relevance Through A Feminist Lens.” Feminism in India, vol. 13, no. 2, 2021.

Urmi, Chanda. “What can notions of dharma and contemporary law tell us about the Ramayana? Two books investigate.”, 2020.

Verma, Charulatha. “Iyengar's Sitayana: A Retelling of the Saga of Sita.” International Journal of Education, Modern Management, Applied Science & Social Science, vol. 2, no. 3, 2020, pp. 442-446.



How to Cite

S, A., & A R, S. (2023). Subverting Patriarchal Narratives: Exploring Bhyrappa’s Depiction of Sita Through Historiographic Metafiction. The Grove - Working Papers on English Studies, 30, 17–36.