2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Picking Up the Shards: Fragmentation Themes as a Reaction to Post-Colonial Theories
Arthur D. Gregg
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

This paper explores the psychological condition of dissociation as a response to trauma in Arundhati Roy's novel The God of Small Things (1998) and in Agha Shahid Ali's poem "Survivor" (1987). First this paper engages psychological studies to get a feel for the concept of dissociation. With a working definition in mind, a psychoanalytical approach towards The God of Small Things and "Survivor" is employed to unite the texts through their portrayal dissociation. In addition, this paper explores popular post-colonial theories for the cause of this convergence, relying on the contributions of Frantz Fanon in Black Skin, White Masks (1968) and on Homi K. Bhabha's The Location of Culture (1994). This paper claims that since both Ali and Roy have roots in post-colonial countries, the psychological fragmentation in their respective works can be seen as a response, or at least a reaction, to the cultural fragmentation illustrated by Bhabha and Fanon.

Keywords: Literature, Psychology, India, Post-Colonialism, Dissociation, Trauma


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 41-3
Location: OP 2111
Time: 1:45 pm

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