2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

The Shadows of History: A Feminist Critique of Agha Shahid Ali's "Snowmen" and "Story of a Silence"
Andrew W. Gaglio
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

The majority of poetry in Agha Shahid Ali's The Half-Inch Himalayas addresses the erosion of one's cultural identity and ancestral roots, both mentally and physically--and no poems resonate this dissociation better than "Snowmen" and "Story of a Silence". Forced into the shadows of history by the icy shackles of the patriarchy, the speaker in "Snowmen" laments the lost women of his ancestry and strives to shatter the binds that bury this piece of his identity. In "Story of a Silence", a wife futilely struggles to salvage the identity of her slowly fading husband whose silence not only embodies his disconnect from culture but expresses the negative influences of the gender hierarchy. In this paper, I will examine the implications of identity and culture that encompass the omission of women's role in Kashmiri society.

Keywords: Agha Shahid Ali, Feminism, Poetry, Identity , Loss, Culture, Women, Half-Inch Himalayas

Women's and Gender Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 312-4
Location: VH 1408
Time: 1:45

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