Ecofeminism is a movement that sees a connection between the exploitation of the natural world and the subordination of women. This concept of ecology and feminism conceptualized by Simone de Beauvoir (1952) and later refined by Francoise d’Eaubonne in 1974 has greened artistic values across disciplines, it is however perceived to be found only sparsely in drama. Una Chaudhuri (1994) and Theresa J. May (2005) argue that theatre is both “immediate and communal” (May 85) with a wealth of productions that “awaken ecological sensibilities” (85) and contest “industrialisation’s animus against nature” (24). Within this context, Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People (1882) and Rahul Varma’s play Bhopal (2001) will be examined through an ecofeminist theoretical framework. This paper, drawing on textual evidence, analyzes the parallelisms between the analogous forms of oppression and domination which result in the degradation of the lives of women and the damaging of nature in two different contexts. The two plays, written over a century apart, depict the minimal progress made in protecting our environs and our failure in lifting the binary polarities that suppress women and enforce male dominance. The analysis of the dramatic texts forces us to reflect on the modern forms of patriarchy which have assumed a much greater public form that is restrictive and takes the shape of a number of oppressive relationships from oppressive systems. The paper also highlights the point that despite the accusation that theatre has made a lesser contribution to ecocriticism and its diverse theories, of which ecofeminism is one, theatre is a medium that creates a forum where audiences can re-interpret and negotiate their relationship to the environment.
Khalil, Rania M Rafik, "Patriarchal Ecocide: An Ecofeminist Reading of Rahul Varma's Bhopal and Henrik Ibsen's An Enemy of the People" (2018). English Language and Literature. 8.