2015 Student Research Conference:
28th Annual Student Research Conference

"The Madness of India's Partition": Reading Saadat Hasan Manto's "Toba Tek Singh"
Hannah A. Bartee
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

This paper takes a close look at Saadat Hasan Mantos Toba Tek Singh, an allegorical short story on the 1947 partition of the subcontinent of India into modern-day India and Pakistan. Without taking sides, Manto uses his characters, insane asylum inmates, to shed light on the cruelty of the partition and how it affected people psychologically. His work focuses on how the loss of a home also created a lost sense of identity, honor, and sanity in those who were forced to move and were victims of the violence of the time. The tragic, sudden death of his main character, Toba Tek Singh, which takes place on a small strip of land between the borders of the new India and Pakistan, shows Mantos bitter, ironic take on the brutal cruelty with which the partition robbed men of everything they had. Only in death is Singh finally able to claim a place for himself once again.

Keywords: Toba Tek Singh, Saadat Hasan Manto, India, Pakistan, 1947 Partition, Allegory, Identity


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 203-4
Location: VH 1224
Time: 11:45

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